Telecom Tests Online Aromatherapy Service

Thursday, December 9th 2004, 11:11 am
By: News On 6

TOKYO (AP) _ People play games, go shopping and meet dates on the Internet. So why not use the Web to download the perfect mood-enhancing fragrance?

A new service being tested by Tokyo-based NTT Communications Corp. sends out smells according to data received over the Internet.

Users attach a device to their laptops that resembles a crystal ball with a nozzle. The device receives aroma data from the central server and exudes fumes from the nozzle in accordance with that reading.

NTT is considering the system as a commercial product for aromatherapy, testing incense or just plain fun.

In a test version, shown at a Tokyo electronics store this week, the crystal ball sends combinations of 36 scents _ natural oils, such as eucalyptus, sandalwood and basil _ as horoscope readings.

Punch your birthday into the computer and wait as valves on tiny bottles holding perfumed oils inside the crystal ball are electronically controlled to produce the correct scent according to your sign.

Cancerians get a waft of chamomile, lavender and vetiver oils _ a classic perk-up for the sign according to a Japanese horoscope expert _ while people born in Pisces get a concoction of lavender, clary sage and lemongrass.

The machines and software were developed by Japan's Mirapro Co., which makes parts for machines that make computer chips.

It's not yet clear how much the product will be sold for or if it will be released outside Japan, company officials said.