The concept of machine smell, much like machine vision, is not exactly new but that does not make it highly explored, by any means. Santa Clara, California-based Intel is hoping to begin changing that with the introduction of its latest technological advancement, however.

We are looking at the Loihi, a new kind of a neuromorphic chip that can power what is very close to our, human understanding of smell and aroma. The solution was detailed in the latest issue of a scientific journal called Nature Machine Intelligence, published earlier today. In the attached paper, Intel scientists reveal how they have partnered with their colleagues from the Cornell University, New York, in order to contribute to the stagnating field of machine smell.

The result of this effort is a chip that ended up being at the center of the Pohoiki Beach, which is how Intel calls its latest neuromorphic system for scientific research. The said platform actually utilizes not one but 64 Loihi chips. Naturally, do not expect consumer-level applications of this technology to emerge in the foreseable future, unless you can think of any that make sense.

Even so, it is going to be a while until the economies of scale make mass-production of these things somewhat viable, assuming that ever happens.

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