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06. Safe fragrances
05. DNA mass information store
04. Garden mounds for permaculture
03. Silver as high-tech material
02. Micro needle transmits medications and light
01. Electricity storage in gravity systems

12. An eye on space hazards
11. Water purification through freezing
10. Solar shingles
09. Trinary code
08. Vegetation-based battery materials
07. Indoor position location
06. The interface industry
05. Hypersonic aircraft
04. Re-usable glass packaging
03. Vein patterns as personal ID
02. Magnet making bacteria
01. Ultra-light solids

12. Ultrasound in water
11. Projected touchscreen
10. Electric airplane
08. Glass hard disc
04. Nuclear hazard
03. Clearing “sewer soap”
02. Water harvesting
01. Tea bag size personal water filter

12. Human powered water transport
11. The Technium
08. Bio-remediation of oil spills
07. Cleaner coal
05. Oil spill remediation
04. Solar towers
03. Brain-computer
02. Biodiesel producing bacteria
01. Hydrogen producing bacteria

12. Levitating living organisms
11. A new blue
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08. Implantable cancer monitors
07. Algal biofuel
06. Geo-Thermal Heat Pump
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01. Air cleansing building material

12. ebooks
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10. Private space-flights
09. Virus identification chip
08. Bio-fuels
07. Electronic financial trading
06. Bio-remediation
05. New tech agriculture
04. Manufactured Hotels
03. Magnetic Induction
02. Genetic Vaults
01. Solid-state lighting

12 Bacteria in agriculture and industry
11. Blue revolution
10. Electronic nose
09. Nuclear sarcophagus
08. Shape shifting technology
07. Thought activated technology
06. Green is cool - make me look green
05. Electronic 'drugs'
04. Super-canals and super-ships
03. Environmentally friendly technology: greens versus grays
02. Agriculture: food,fiber and fuel
01. FPGA floating-point performance surpasses microprocessor

08. Energy sources for electricity compete
07. Universal interface (UI)
06. Magnetic levitation
05. Light pipes
04. Storage of electricity
03. Automotive engines
02. Molecular assembly
01. Introducing Technoscan Newsbriefs

Vol. 2, No. 10. October 31, 2007
ISSN 1932-3018

Electronic nose
Positioning this technology in the
Functionality Grid
Reformatted from: Van Wyk, Rias J: Technology - A Unifying Code, 2004, SMG, Cape Town, p.34. Based on: Ropohl, Gunter: Eine Systemtheorie der Technik, 1979, Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich and Vienna, p.178.
This Newsbrief focuses on devices that imitate the human nose. It deals specifically with sensors that detect odors. In terms of the Atlas of Technological Megatrends it is concerned with the functionality of information processing.
Recent years have seen continued improvement in the technology of odor detection. It has numerous practical applications, including:
  • Diagnoses of medical conditions
  • Detection of spoiled food products
  • Detection of industrial malfunctions
Many electronic noses are becoming commercially available. In the field of medical diagnostics electronic noses are being designed to monitor breath, excreta and tissue. In the field of packaging they can sample foodstuffs. In the field of industrial operations they can diagnose machines under stress.
The biological analogy is the human nose. It has approximately 5 million olfactory receptors. Dogs have many more, in the region of 220 million. (Fox, Kate: "The smell report", Social Issues Research Centre, 25 October 2007)
Electronic noses imitate but do not replicate the human nose.

Key trends are:

  • Increasing pattern recognition and odor classification ability
  • Increase in work tempo
  • Increasing precision
  • A reduction in device size
  • Programmability
As electronic noses proliferate in commercial life, technology executives and investment professionals will be faced with many opportunities. Odor recognition may well become a competing technology for traditional sensors that deal with physical phenomena like pressure, flow and temperature.

© Rias J. van Wyk, 2013. Editor.