A proprietary smart diffuser seems like a fine way to lean into the pod economy


Everyone who reads this website, The Verge, and this blog, Circuit Breaker, should know my feelings on pods. I'm not going to rehash them, but have linked back for your convenience. I will say, however, I am ready for a pod future, where all my goods are proprietary and available in single-servings. Why not!

Today we learned that pods are coming to diffusers. Pium, a smart diffuser, will be on show at the IFA tech conference in Berlin next week. It'll sit alongside Samsung Electronics because apparently Samsung employees tested the Pium and enjoyed it. Samsung also seems to have invested in the start-up through one of its incubator programs.

The idea of Pium is that you buy proprietary oil pods that have information "electrically coded" inside, so the device automatically recognizes the scent and accounts for it through Pium's companion iOS / Android app. Users can load multiple capsules at once to mix scents with the goal of creating a nice-smelling, personalized place. Apparently Pium also tracks when users are out of the house and adjusts its diffusion intensity in turn. This all makes sense, although I don't know if people who use diffusers have always wanted them to be connected. They seem to be working okay without that functionality.

This smart diffuser is only available through Kickstarter and has already reached its backing goal. The company thinks it should start shipping units by February 2018. I don't necessarily believe this gadget showing up at IFA is an assurance of Pium eventually getting to backers, but it doesn't hurt, either. I'm telling you, the pod life, it's going to be great.

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