Just yesterday the magazine staff was brainstorming on a "Where are they now?" cover story we're doing later in the year and one of the topics that came up was Smellivision. So it was fun to read this morning that scientists in Japan are developing an amazing device with the ability to record odors.

Somboon's system will use 15 chemical-sensing microchips, or electronic noses, to pick up a broad range of aromas. These are then used to create a digital recipe from a set of 96 chemicals that can be chosen according to the purpose of each individual gadget. When you want to replay a smell, drops from the relevant vials are mixed, heated and vaporised. In tests so far, the system has successfully recorded and reproduced the smell of orange, lemon, apple, banana and melon. "We can even tell a green apple from a red apple," Somboon says.

This technology would be an interesting addition to the online shopping experience. People could smell perfumes, cleaning products, foods, etc. But something tells me teenage boys might be dangerous with these devices.