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Summary:

Google Nose (now in beta) is an April Fools joke, but computers that smell or even taste things will soon be within the realm of possibility. Just ask IBM.

A Google April Fool’s Day post on Google Nose, a new service in beta that “leverages new and existing technologies to offer the sharpest olfactory experience available” may have been a joke, but it’s not that far from reality.

Just ask IBM which last December said technologies that endow computers with a sense of smell are on the cusp of reality, if not broad adoption. Or  Cyrano Sciences,  which the Washington Post points out, is working to give machines a sense of smell. An electronic nose that could sniff out explosives and food contaminants, could be hugely useful.

googlenose

IBM, which fields a prodigious research organization, is convinced that endowing computers with human-like senses is a key focus and outlined its thoughts in its annual list of five technologies to watch last December.

Such technologies include chemical sensors that emit an odor when they detect some sort of pattern. “You can paint chemical sensors on a surface and when they detect a pattern, they give off a smell — you could make a rich paint with all sorts of sensors that mimic things that you like,”  IBM fellow and VP of innovation Bernie Meyerson told me at the time.

If integrated with a smartphone, for example, these technologies could tell from your breath that you have or are about to get a cold and enable your doctor to diagnose you remotely based on that information and prescribe treatment.

So a computing device with a nose that knows is really not all that crazy.

 

  1. i could smell the cookie dough, vanilla, and coffee beans. I covered the name of one of the smells and I asked my sister to smell it. She said coffee beans and she was right!

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  2. Bishal Biswas Sunday, April 7, 2013

    Smelling is believing, thanks for the post :)

    – Bishal Biswas
    http://www.thedigitcrunch.com/

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  3. Reblogged this on Duncan's Radio Blog and commented:
    Google Nose is not a joke!!!

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  4. محمد طاقي Saturday, April 27, 2013

    Ever wish you could search Google by smell? Now you can.
    APRIL FOOLS!
    Google, as per tradition, is out with their latest April Fools’ Day prank to celebrate the practical joke-based holiday.

    http://googlenose2013.blogspot.com

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