Seven major firms are preparing to showcase pioneering smell-based sensor technologies.
The official jargon refers to MSS – Membrane-type Surface stress Sensor – a type of sensor that was developed by Genki Yoshikawa, a scientist with the International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics, or “MANA”. It’s designed to detect oderous molecules, enabling a kind of artificial sense of smell. And soon, the first-ever MSS Forum will start looking into how this technology could be incorporated into compact MSS devices.
The MSS Forum will convene for the first time on November 1st, and comprises Asahi Kasei, Kyocera, NanoWorld, NEC, NIMS, Osaka University, and Sumitomo Seika. These are also the constituent members of the MSS Alliance, which was formed in 2015 and have been engaged in R&D since then; the MSS Forum’s purpose is to perform demos and experiments pertaining to what they have found.
The MSS Alliance members say they have already collaborated to develop signal processing, measurement, and data analytics tools for MSS sensors, and one of them, NanoWorld, already started selling MSS chips in April of 2016; meanwhile, the organizations believe that MSS technology could offer valuable applications in “agriculture, the livestock industry, self-healthcare, construction materials and body odor,” among other areas.
And they are appealing to the wider tech and research community for additional members to help them advance MSS technology, with the MSS Alliance asserting that it will accept around 10 organizations, sniffing out top candidates in a screening process that begins November 1st.