A 'vitrual coffee experience'. This is the aim being pursued by a team comprizing Le Laboratoire founder David Edwards, and a group of contributors with areas of expertise ranging from coffee to design. Confused? I know I am. Can this confusion be clarified? Let's hope so. Say hello to the mind boggling OPHONE.
About as far from the shops as can be, the OPHONE is part of a larger experiment known as the Olfactive Project. With Edwards teaming up with master perfumer Oliver Perscheux and coffee nut Ryan Spinoglio, their aim is, in my opinion, far from simple. The product, or at least the latest version, comes in the form of a cylinder which sits on top of a base filled with chemicals. Bearing certain similarities to a smart phone, the OPHONE receives coded messages which tell it just what smells to produce.
Experience smells virtually
Yes indeed. Once a type of coffee, type of caramel, and a nut variety have been typed into the website, this information is sent to a smart phone before bluetooth is used to communicate the message to the OPHONE device. The result? A delicious smell recipe, produced with help from the chemicals found in the base of the OPHONE.
Recently seen at London's Wired exhibition, it has also just been involved in a lengthy experimentation period in Paris. This will be followed by a February 2014 exhibition to celebrate the launch of the US Le Laboratoire - The Lab Cambridge. The Lab Cambridge will involve exciting collaboration between MIT and Harvard, most likely yielding many innovative and groundbreaking products.
Behind this, as well as a number of other mildly related products, is Le Laboratoire, an extremely forward thinking oragnization headed up by the aforementioned David Edwards. The OPHONE typifies this company's attitude, and with around 300 flavors already available, the possibilities seem staggering. FInally, as the minds behind the mayhem will place strong future emphasis on consumers creating their own smell recipes, we want to know what you would concoct if just a few clicks was all it took.