'Smelly phone' making waves in Japan

Mobile giant NTT DoCoMo has launched a new handset that produces an aroma when the device is opened

Apple is not the only kit maker causing waves with its latest device. Japanese mobile giant NTT DoCoMo has launched handsets promising scents and a double screen.

The DoCoMo mobile "smelly phone" is the SO703i from Sony Ericsson, which uses scented sheets that produce an aroma when the device is opened.

The operator said the scent sheets are designed to relax users during a phone call, according to Reuters. The clamshell will be available from next month.

NTT, parent of DoCoMo, has already experimented with linking technology and fragrance. In 2005 the company trialled a system that would fill a cinema with an odour at an appropriate point in the film.

DoCoMo has cheekily named its double-screen handset the D8000iDS — no doubt highlighting its resemblance to the Nintendo DS gaming device. The DoCoMo device opens like a book with a normal screen on one half and a touchscreen on the other, allowing users to input data using their fingers or a stylus.

D8000iDS owners will also be able to use the touchscreen to send doodles to friends. The 3G phone, which uses the FoMA third-generation variant found in Japan, will be available from February.