In one of the creepier new smartphone innovations, a few touches on an intuitive app on an HTC One can now control the operation of a crematorium in Denmark. DFW Europe installed five cremation ovens in Ringsted that can be operated via the Opto22 groov remote control app.
Developed by Mulder-Hardenberg Group, the app uses the HTC One's built-in infrared capabilities to scan the cremation bar code and send a signal to turn on the oven, for an entirely automated process.
It's among the weirder new products proliferating as smartphones continue to develop in ways that make life easier or more automated. Other notable smartphone-driven standouts include products that make long-distance relationships more interactive and "scented" text messages.
For couples looking to bring more intimacy to a long-distance relationship, there's Fundawear, developed by condom maker Durex. The package contains vibrating underwear that's controlled via a smartphone app so couples can create a sense of touch over the Internet.
Even the Smell-O-Vision fad from the 1960s, revived by film director John Waters via scratch-and-sniff cards for his 1981 cult classic "Polyester" and currently used in theme parks, is being reinterpreted for smartphones, with several developers bringing scents to text messages. Harvard University's David Edwards, for one, created the oSnap app to control the oPhone device.
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"Experiencing an aroma with the oPhone is something like smelling a flower," the project's Indiegogo page says. "Except that you experience the aromas only if you want to. When the aroma message is finished, you no longer smell it. This is why we call it a 'phone.' It delivers a message to you, and when you 'hang up,' the 'call' is over. Until you pick it up again."