NEW YORK—Hailing the product as a revolution in smelling technology, Sony released its sleek new line of nose buds Monday, which will allow consumers to blast a variety of scents directly into their nostrils whenever and wherever they please.
The new Sony Nasal HD-340s, which retail for $49.99, have been designed to comfortably fit into users’ nostrils and are said to rely on advanced olfactory technology to deliver a wide array of high-quality aromas, including lavender, fresh-baked bread, tennis ball, Fourth of July barbecue, and public pool, offering each user a highly personalized smelling experience.
“The HD-340s were developed using our new scent-cancelling technology that minimizes ambient odor and lets users enjoy exactly what they want to smell, when they want to smell it,” said Sony Electronics president Phil Molyneux at a media event, before demonstrating the new product for reporters by placing the device into his nose and taking a prolonged whiff of orange peel. “Now, whether you’re on a bus or a plane or taking your morning run through the park, you’ll be able to take your favorite smells with you right in your pocket anywhere you go.”
Accompanying the launch of the HD-340s is Sony’s new online aroma store, which offers over 22,000 different smells for download and inhalation. According to Sony, the store features 6-second sample sniffs of a constantly growing collection of scents, including popular selections such as ocean, baby, peppermint coffee, and Italian restaurant, along with lesser-known odors like giraffe, Oklahoma City, and volcano.
Sources confirmed that within hours of its launch, the product had already attracted lines at electronics stores across the country, with consumers of all ages expressing considerable interest in having all their favorite and most meaningful fragrances conveniently available to them.
“The quality of these things is really unbelievable,” said customer Max Denton of Phoenix, who was among the first in the nation to purchase a pair of the small nose pieces. “Right after I got them, I turned on the sawdust scent and cranked up the odor level, and damn, it’s like I was actually standing right in front of a big pile of sawdust. It’s awesome.”
“And I have to say, they look great, too,” Denton added. “I got the yellow nose buds and they’re pretty stylish.”
According to numerous online reviews, customers’ favorite features of the HD-340s include the product’s ability to transition seamlessly between different scents as well as the ease with which users can create and share their own custom smell playlists.
Others said they were simply pleased to no longer have to carry an ungainly assortment of items they enjoy smelling with them everywhere they go.
“Before I got these nose buds, my whole family would have to smell the same thing whenever we were in the car together,” said 15-year-old user Allison Nguyen of Evanston, IL. “But now, each of us can smell our own things. It’s great.”
“I’m really into smelling popcorn, and my parents totally don’t get it,” Nguyen continued. “They like smelling lame old-people smells, like pine. It was so boring to have to smell that for an entire trip.”
A number of consumers, however, stated that the HD-340s have not been able to live up to the hype that accompanied their launch, with some complaining of factory defects.
“I think mine might be busted,” read an Amazon.com product review from user Thomas Park. “Most of the time I can smell in one nostril and not the other and it really ruins the smelling experience.”
“I guess I’ll have to go back to wearing my old over-the-nose model,” Park added.