We’re not sure if this little invention can actually take off, but it’s definitely one of those cool, sort of useless ideas we like to geek out about. A Japanese company called ChatPerf has come up with a gadget that offers smell-o-vision for smarthpones.

While the jury’s still out on whether this is a good idea or a bad one, let’s take a closer look at the Scentee, as the project is called.

Scentee: Smell-o-vision for Smartphones

The Scentee consists of a small device – an atomizer, actually, that plugs into the bottom of your phone. With the help of the accompanying app, you can easily disperse the odor into the air. For what reason exactly is beyond us.

Developers said their device would be a nice thing to have to enhance your gaming experience: it could release gunpowder smell to make a shooting game feel more realistic, or the smell of burning rubber when you’re playing a racing game.

It could be used as an alert system as well, ChatPerf believes. Instead of alerting you by sound or vibration, you could program your phone to release a pleasant scent whenever you get a new message or email. That would probably work only in a closed environment, though.

The Scentee would also allow users to attach a scent to their text messages to better convey their feelings. So instead of writing the now obsolete “I heart U” you could just send your significant other an odor message that smells like roses. Just make sure you have the right odor cartridge plugged in. For the time being, you can plug only one atomizer in your phone at a time, but the manufacturers are trying to find a way around that.

Until then, the company is planning to release a business model with different odor tanks containing different scents. The device currently works with any type of iPhone, with an Android compatible model to be released this September.

[Image via laughingsquid]