Excuse me, your phone is smelling…
Phones long ago did away the boring ring of cell phones, making cell phones blare everything from James Brown to John Cleese when they want to be answered. And even before the ringtone, phones made themselves felt, not heard, through vibration features.
The ways to interact with your phone are countless, so it’s not surprising when a company comes up with a new sensation for you to toy with. But what Sony Ericsson has developed for NTT DoCoMo is almost shocking: a phone that smells. No, no, no, not that factory-new smell of chemicals and plastic, but the distinguishable (and presumably pleasant) odors that customers can hand pick for their phones to set themselves apart from the masses whose phones merely scream Britney Spears songs and are painted blue.
The Sony Ericsson SO703i comes with a slot for replaceable scented sheets that give off one of 11 odors. I know what you’re thinking: A perfect marketing opportunity for the Chanel No. 5 phone. You’re right, it’s probably right around the corner.
I think personalization is a good thing. In an age where everyone has a cell phone, differentiating rings can be useful. And as the cell phone has become a critical piece of our identities, stylization of those devices is only natural. But can we go too far? It’s hard enough to tolerate the teenybopper on the bus or in line at the movie theater whose phone is blaring some obnoxious tune when she’s not chattering incessantly in higher registers to her friends. But must we now endure whatever obnoxious scent she decides fits her personality and sense of flair? What’s next? A phone that performs a mini-laser light show when it rings? Throws off sparks when it disconnects? Or perhaps inflates a three-story-tall pig and sends it flying across the stadium during guitar solos?
Contact me at kfitchard@telephonyonline.
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© 2013 Penton Media Inc.
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