TOKYO (Reuters Life!) - Japanese mobile phone users will be taking downloads a few steps beyond music and video with a trial service that allows them to call up fragrances to relax or jump-start the day.
In a trial of its aroma therapy phone service, NTT Communications Corp is asking 20 users to keep in their rooms aroma pots with infrared sensors that can read signals sent from a mobile phone.
Each pot will hold 16 different aromatic essences ranging from chamomile to peppermint. Users choose from music and video clips via carrier NTT DoCoMo Inc's i-mode Internet service. Downloading the data triggers a signal from the phone to the aroma pot, which blends the essences and emits an appropriate scent.
The 16 different essences can be combined to produce 200 different fragrances to help a user concentrate or sleep soundly, according to NTT Communications, the Internet solutions unit of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp.
The trial, to last between April 10 and April 20, could lead to commercialisation of the service, dubbed Mobile Fragrance Communication.
"If demand is strong, we would like to make this service available by March next year," said spokeswoman Yasuko Oka.
NTT Communications also plans to conduct trials of another service that would allow mobile phone users to send files with scent attachments.