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Odor Sensors: Potential Practical Application Increases As AI Advances

Out of the five senses, in-vehicle sensors can already detect three senses namely sight, hearing and touch. However, an in-vehicle device which can sense smell has yet to be commercially available. It is a difficult task to identify odors mechanically. There are 400,000 types of odor molecules in nature whose combinations make up odors. For instance, the scent of coffee is the combination of over 500 different molecules. Human beings identify various odors based on experience. The development of sensors which can identify odors began in the 1960s. One of its results is gas leakage detectors. The conductivity of the sensing material of these devices changes when a specific gaseous body binds to the semiconductor. However, these detectors can only detect a limited number of gases. Membrane-type surface-stress sensors (MSS) are attracting attention in recent years. MSS was developed by Japanese researchers in 2011. An alliance called MSS Forum was formed in 2015 to realize practical application of MSS.
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