Digital Olfaction is Improving Product Quality and Customer Experiences, Including Your Morning Coffee

By Liz Facteau
Ever wonder how digital olfaction could impact the cup of coffee you’re drinking or help improve your cooking skills? Aryballe’s CEO Sam Guilaumé recently spoke with Owen Hughes, senior reporter at ZDNet, for an engaging discussion about our bio-driven approach to detecting and characterizing odors, including the common smells consumers encounter every day.

Aryballe’s software-driven approach to digital olfaction combines biomechanical sensors and machine learning to capture, display and objectively measure an odor, turning it into actionable insights that businesses can use to make better decisions — whether it’s analyzing coffee powder or discerning plastic packaging quality.
The following excerpt is from Sam’s recent conversation with Owen and the full article can be read here.

Digital olfaction allows coffee companies to characterise and control one crucial part of the coffee-drinking experience: the smell. As it turns out, this is particularly difficult when dealing with coffee powder – such as the type found in instant coffee – due to the removal of water in the freeze-drying process.

“It’s extremely difficult to characterise coffee powder,” Guilaumé explains.

“To qualify one powder from another is extremely difficult. The only way these guys can do it today is that they brew it first, analyse the liquid coffee then smell it and compare it.”

“Coffee companies and coffee-machine manufacturers are coming to us and asking, ‘How can you help us understand the quality of the coffee before we brew it?’…It requires a very high level of sensitivity and a good capacity to discriminate.”

While Sam and Owen only touched on a few of Aryballe’s use cases in their discussion, if you have ever burnt a batch of cookies, thrown away spoiled food, or needed new brake pads, then you will understand how digital olfaction has the potential to revolutionize the way businesses and even consumers think about the sense of smell.

Through supervised machine learning, Aryballe is training its hardware-enabled software to recognize and discern between scents to power research and development, ensure product and sourcing quality, and facilitate the creation of positive consumer experiences.

This post is based on Owen Hughes’ ZDNet article “This digital ‘nose’ could make your coffee smell better and improve your cooking,” published on September 9, 2020.