Skip to main content

(Moodify)

Technology that cancels out the stench of cat litter and cigarettes could also revive drowsy drivers or calm nervous students. Lab tests show that digitized scents created by Israeli startup Moodify can keep drivers alert, slow a nervous person’s racing heart and improve sleep.

Toyota AI Ventures, the innovation arm of the Japanese car giant, is among the marquee investors betting millions of dollars that Moodify’s “active scent technology,” developed over years of research at the Weizmann Institute, can improve driver behavior and road safety.

“The sense of smell gets into your brain faster than any other sense,” says Tal Landman, chief operating officer of Moodify, which is working with a wide range of Fortune 500 companies to incorporate its digital scents into their products.

Smell can influence behavior and feelings, and even trigger physical responses, he says.

In a test with a leading carmaker, the Moodify Red formulation woke drowsy drivers from their sleep within a few seconds. Chemicals released by the system stimulated the trigeminal nerve in the face, sending signals to the brain and increasing the adrenaline level.

“This could be incorporated into cars to prevent drivers from falling asleep at the wheel,” Landman says. “It could even replace coffee or energy drinks.”

A Moodify formula that neutralizes odor is already on sale to the public, targeted at cat owners who dread cleaning their pet’s litterbox, or struggle to find a discreet place to put it, due to its unpleasant stench. Simply hanging Moodify’s white, heart-shaped device that looks like a decorative ornament above the litterbox can solve the problem. It contains a small amount of liquid that emits scentless molecules scientifically proven to block the brain from noticing the smell. Some cat owners say it has changed their lives.

“There is really no odor,” says one cat owner, who previously resorted to wearing a mask when cleaning the litter box. Unlike perfume-based air fresheners, the device is not simply trying to hide one smell with another.

“It cancels bad smells,” says Landman “It’s like white noise for the nose.”

Toyota, Audi and Valeo, a French supplier that makes auto parts for millions of cars, are among the major companies working with Moodify to incorporate the technology into their vehicles – a market that could be worth millions of dollars a year.

Valeo used Moodify for a device that can be placed in used, rented or shared cars to eliminate bad smells.

“This enables us to bring to market an ultimate solution to bad smell in cars, a problem that pains the entire automotive supply chain,” says Georges de Pelsemaeker, health and wellbeing director at Valeo. Dealers say the device has increased returns on sales.

“On average it has resulted in a price $1,000 more than usually expected, just because when you open the door, odor is nonexistent,” Landman says.

Blocks smell

Moodify has also developed a scent for Audi China that blocks the leathery smell of new cars. Even though the new car smell is considered pleasant in the US and Europe, about 40% of consumers in China do not like it, Landman says.

In the future, Moodify’s scent technology could be incorporated into the air-conditioning systems of cars, trains and buses, making sure the air always smells fresh.

The platform can also produce scents that elicit specific responses from the body beyond waking sleepy drivers.

A lab test showed that Moodify Blue, made from synthetic versions of molecules found in human tears and sweat, helped people relax by lowering their cortisol and adrenaline levels. Those who inhaled it showed a 20% reduction in physiological stress responses when startled; another test carried out by a large consumer products company found that the scent was 29% more effective than a placebo in reducing stress.

“This is something that could be used in classrooms to help nervous students, or to help people sleep better,” Landman says.

The science of smell has, until recently, been less studied than other senses. The neural receptors in the nose that receive odor signals and transmit them to the brain were only identified in the 1990s. Recently, interest in the field of olfactory science has grown since loss of smell emerged as a common symptom of Covid-19.

“There’s been a sea change of increased interest in what our olfactory system can tell us,” says Pamela Dalton, a researcher at the Monell Center, a interdisciplinary scientific institute in Philadelphia dedicated to the study of smell and taste.

Weizmann Institute

Based on 15 years of research at the Weizmann Institute of Science Olfaction Research Group, Moodify’s platform consists of a giant database of different smells – both good and bad – broken down by which molecules they contain, and how the brain reacts to each. Users can enter a scent they want to cover up, like cigarettes, mold or body odor, into the database, and the platform, using neural networks to sort through masses of data, produces a recipe that will block the nose from detecting those smells.

“We know how each molecule communicates with the brain,” Landman says. “Our grand vision is mapping and digitizing scent. That would allow you to send WhatsApp messages with smells in them, or watch TV and smell the things you see.”

Sounds and images were long ago reduced to computer code and easily recorded, created, transferred and watched on digital devices. After the Weizmann scientists discovered that almost any smell in the world can be produced from about 200 different molecules, digital scents are much closer.

Efforts to incorporate scents into entertainment experiences go back to the 1950s when AromaRama and Smell-O-Vision machines emitted smells in theaters to go along scenes in movies. But the concept never really took off.

“It’s much more complicated than vision or hearing,” Dalton explains, comparing it to images where a combination of blue, green and red can create any color. “A set of primitives, or primaries, does not exist in the odor world. I think we will see this technology eventually, but it will be a while.”

Source: Startup targets multi-million dollar market of smelly cats and sleepy drivers

PheromonesSmell
22/06/2021

Why single people smell different | BBC

(Image credit: Michal Bialozej) By William Park There is a wealth of psychological and biological information stored in our scent, but for some reason we choose to ignore it. King…
PheromonesScientificSmell
21/06/2021

Is an irresistible human pheromone possible? | Whyy

(Sergio Mazurini /Big Stock Photo) This story is from The Pulse, a weekly health and science podcast. Researcher Jessica Gaby says it’s about time those who lack deep human connections in life start…
ArtMultisensorySmellVisual
18/06/2021

Can Smell Be an Artistic Medium? A Perfume Expert Teamed Up With Joana Vasconcelos and Other Artists to Make ‘Olfactory Sculptures’ | Artnet

Joana Vasconcelos. Photo: Kyla Rosselli. We have art for the eyes and music for the ears, but what about about creative stimuli for our sense of smell? A new show…
MultisensorySmell
17/06/2021

The next frontier for design is right under our nose – put a smell on it | Core77

The composer Hans Zimmer scored the Pirates of the Caribbean series, The Dark Knight Trilogy, Interstellar, Blade Runner 2049 and many more blockbusters. Recently he has composed the sound of…
EmotionsHealthMemorySmell
17/06/2021

Does COVID Anosmia Influence Our Emotions and Memory? | Psychology Today Canada

Our sense of smell is linked to our memories. Source: Budgeron Bach/Pexels KEY POINTS Our sense of smell is tied up with our memories and emotions. What happens to this…
CommunicationMultisensorySmellSoundVisual
16/06/2021

Speed dating study investigates the importance of sight, sound, and scent on partner choice | Psypost

Recently published research examined the role of different sensory modalities — seeing, hearing, and smelling — in choosing a romantic partner. The findings, which appear in the journal Evolution and…
ScientificSmell
15/06/2021

Delivering The Smell Of Clean To Consumers | HAPPI

Smell is one of our most important senses. Developed through millennia of evolution, our ability to smell the world around us provides important cues about our surroundings. In fact, the…
EmotionsMemorySmell
15/06/2021

How A Man Cured Anxiety And Panic Attacks With A Bottle Of Aftershave | Nation Online

Have you ever wondered why you have a favourite smell, a favourite song, or a favourite meal? Is it just down to how pleasant they are, sending messages to the…
EmotionsInterestingPheromonesSmell
15/06/2021

Dogs that detect seizures may be sniffing out the scent of human fear | New Scientist

Dogs may be able to recognise the “smell of fear” Description:Credit: plainpicture/Mölleken Dogs that can predict when their owners are going to have an epileptic seizure may be recognising the…
Artificial IntelligenceHealthSmellTechnology
15/06/2021

Researchers Create AI Device to Sniff Out Cancer in Blood Samples With 95% Accuracy For Hard to Detect Types | Good New Network

Biomedical engineer Leyla Soleymani – by Georgia Kirkos, McMaster University Odor-based test that sniffs out vapors emanating from blood samples was able to distinguish between benign and pancreatic and ovarian…
InterestingSmellTechnology
14/06/2021

Coronavirus alarm detects infection’s ‘scent’ with up to 100% accuracy | Yahoo

An alarm could detect if someone in a room is carrying the coronavirus. (Stock, Getty Images) An alarm could "smell" if someone is infected with the coronavirus, research suggests. The dominant Delta…
InterestingSmellTechnology
10/06/2021

Nose-Zapping Wearable Simulates Smells With Electricity | Digital Trends

Human-Computer Integration Laboratory, University of Chicago Jas Brooks, a long-haired engineer who looks as if they might moonlight as the roadie for a hair metal band, sat blindfolded in a…
EducationSmellVisual
09/06/2021

‘Fragrance of Colors’ initiative enables | Roya News

The 'Fragrance of Colors' initiative enables blind and visually impaired chidren identify colors through smell.  The founder of the initiative Sohail Baqain is helping them express themselves through art by…
Artificial IntelligenceSmellTechnology
09/06/2021

AI can be used to predict how any chemical is going to smell to humans | BrandEquity

AI will be able soon to ‘nose’ good wines, whiskies, even tea and coffee. Humans sense odors when some of their nearly 400 odorant receptors, or ORs, are activated in…
EmotionsInterestingSmell
09/06/2021

Discover the scent of others | duty

Soon the time will come when the long-awaited hug with your mom or best friend will become possible again. This once vulgar gesture has become dangerous during the pandemic. A…
EmotionsMemorySmell
08/06/2021

Experts pore over the power of perfume as Netflix’s Halston tells how fragrance prompted designer’s emotive flashback | The Sunday Post

Chanel model Gisele Bundchen at the launch of the 2004 short film No. 5. He was the iconic designer, fabulous and famous, who helped dress the 1970s but his fragrance…
Augmented + virtual realityMultisensorySmellSoundVisual
08/06/2021

VR Aromatherapy Might be Coming to a Headset Near You | Freethink

VR smell can be used to improve immersion—and possibly even mental health. Share VR Aromatherapy Might be Coming to a Headset Near You on Facebook Share VR Aromatherapy Might be…
ArtInterestingMultisensorySmellVisual
07/06/2021

The smell of art | Apollo Magazine

Ellen Terry (‘Choosing’) (detail; 1864), George Frederic Watts. National Portrait Gallery, London This article was published in the May 2021 issue of Apollo. Preview and subscribe here. At first glance Jacob van…
ArtMultisensorySmellVisual
04/06/2021

Want to Smell Like Van Gogh’s Sunflowers? The Van Gogh Museum Is Working With a Fragrance Brand to Produce Custom Perfumes | Artnet

Vincent van Gogh, Still Life: Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers (1889). Courtesy of the Van Vogh Museum. Want to Smell Like Van Gogh’s Sunflowers? The Van Gogh Museum Is Teaming Up With…
InterestingNeuroscienceSmell
03/06/2021

Startup targets multi-million dollar market of smelly cats and sleepy drivers | Times Of Israel

(Moodify) Technology that cancels out the stench of cat litter and cigarettes could also revive drowsy drivers or calm nervous students. Lab tests show that digitized scents created by Israeli…
HealthSmell
03/06/2021

Poor sense of smell linked to higher pneumonia risk | Study Finds

(Credit: RODNAE Productions from Pexels) EAST LANSING, Mich. — Losing the sense of smell has become synonymous with COVID-19 infection over the past year. However, there are a number of…
EmotionsInterestingMemoryMultisensorySmellTouch/Feel/TextureVisual
01/06/2021

Thread Infused with Scent Embellishes Embroidered and Woven Textiles to Stimulate Memories | Colossal

“Jasmine I” embroidery on silk organza with jasmine-scented yarn dyed with hibiscus, beetroot, indigo, and turmeric, 36 x  54 inches. All images © Pallavi Padukone, shared with permission Scent, memory,…
ExperientialSmell
28/05/2021

How to travel to the distilleries of Scotland through scent alone | CityAM

Once, if you smelled of whisky in the morning you could expect a trip to the HR department – now it might be the source of water-cooler compliments. Imogen Russon-Taylor…
ArtEntertainmentMultisensorySmellVisual
28/05/2021

Van Gogh Museum creating fragrances inspired by Van Gogh art | blooloop

The Van Gogh Museum has partnered with sustainable fragrance brand Floral Street to develop scents celebrating the artwork of Van Gogh. Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum has teamed up with sustainable British brand Floral…
SmellTechnology
25/05/2021

French startup smells an opportunity in digital olfaction | SiliconANGLE

BIG DATA Of the five human senses, smell gets the least respect. It’s the sense people say they would miss the least if they lost it, according to a 2018 YouGov…
InterestingMultisensorySmellSoundTaste
14/05/2021

Vic Galloway uses music to elevate whisky tasting to new heights | The List

The Edinburgh-based musician and BBC Radio DJ teams up with Scotch Malt Whisky Society to combine the worlds of whisky and music Smoky, zingy, sweet or peaty are just some…
InterestingPheromonesSmell
14/05/2021

Honeybees Use Scent Maps to Keep Track of Their Queen | Discover Magazine

(Credit: Samo Trebizan/Shutterstock) Honeybees can find their way back to their queen using a sophisticated form of the telephone game. Even after foraging for hours, they can smell the pheromones…
EntertainmentInterestingSmell
11/05/2021

You Need These *Super Cool* Star Wars-Themed Scented Candles In Your Collection RN | Cosmo.ph

PHOTO: INSTAGRAM/MOODIE_MNL If you clicked on this article, chances are, you're a Star Wars fan or you love scented candles—or you're both! If you've been looking for more scented candles to add…
HealthInterestingSmellTechnology
11/05/2021

Scientists train bees to identify coronavirus infection

A group of Dutch scientists is enlisting the help of an unusual group of participants for a new kind of rapid COVID-19 test: bees that have been specially trained to…
Artificial IntelligenceSmellTechnology
11/05/2021

Artificial Intelligence Is Developing A Sense Of Smell: What Could A Digital Nose Mean In Practice? | Forbes

Artificial Intelligence Is Developing A Sense Of Smell: What Could A Digital Nose Mean In Practice? ADOBE STOCK We already know we can teach machines to see. Sensors enable autonomous…
Close Menu

Random sensory quotes

I’ve played in bands myself, and sat on the floor photographing some of the greatest bands in the world while they rehearse. What’s always struck me is how different the sensory, especially auditory, experience is when you’re in the middle of the music with the musicians playing off each other around you.

— Chris Milk