Digital Scent Market to Experience Significant Growth by 2030



The global digital scent market size is expected to grow from USD 17.9 million in 2020 to USD 39.1 million by 2027, at a CAGR of 11.8% from 2021 to 2027. Digital scent technology has witnessed exponential development from its initial deployment by the US Army in the Vietnam war to massive e-nose networks set up around the world presently. Digital scent technology has gained momentum recently with emerging technologies, like artificial intelligence and IoT. E-nose technology has seen widespread adoption in the waste management industry. Countries like the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Italy have the most comprehensive e-nose networks. Countries like South Africa, Oman, and Estonia, have also invested in developing such e-nose networks.

This market is expected to witness significant opportunities in the military and defense sector, owing to the number of applications of an electronic nose. E-nose can help the personnel in the military to achieve a scientific understanding of the smells on the field and helps in the delivery of toxicity-reducing chemicals, anti-toxin, or antibodies to neutralize specific toxin pain-reducing medications.

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Digital scent technology is expected to play a significant role in decision-making about national security that involves geography. It is essential to detect the position of land mines and biological and chemical agents to determine the place of a strike on the battlefield. Analysis of such data can be used to decide the strategy of war with minimal environmental impact. Thus, widespread utilization of technology in military and defense is estimated to create growth opportunities. Concepts like these are delivered to the user in a combination of hardware and software. While the hardware part detects and produces scents, the software helps generate specific signals for specific smells.

Global Digital Scent Market Dynamics

Drivers: Introduction of AI in Digital Scent Technology

Digital scent technology has a high level of dependence on the capacity of humans in several applications, like perfumes, food and beverage, and other technologies. Even the animals used in law enforcement have limited ability to detect and differentiate various smells. As a result, it wasn’t easy to quantify and process the information. However, companies like IBM and E-Nose Systems have been able to apply AI to process the smells further and categorize them. With AI, it is now possible to achieve higher sensitivity and increase the overall system’s capabilities. IBM’s algorithm has shortened the typically-demanding manufacturing process involved in creating lab-made perfumes and odorants. The researchers further mentioned that they were able to overcome the shortfalls of human capacity by analyzing millions of instances. The healthcare industry will benefit from the smell research, and the algorithm aims to provide a more precise odor vocabulary that can help doctors diagnose neurodegenerative diseases faster. The adults who fail a simple sniff test are twice as likely to develop dementia, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society in 2018.

Challenges: High Initial Cost of Electronic Noses

The digital scent technology provides excellent benefits in various end-user verticals, like healthcare, military and defense, and the food and beverage industry. The specific challenges, like the high initial cost of setting up the digital scent technology in the process involving electronic noses and scent synthesizers, might obstruct the market’s growth during the forecast period. The method of selecting a vendor to procure sensing devices for various applications, like explosive detection in the military and defense, security applications, and quality control for assessment of raw materials in the food and beverage industry, involves the belief that the provider’s business would endure the termination of the relationship with them. In case of any failure about the product, the enterprises relying upon them may be left to format their entire manufacturing process. This would involve high switching costs and the increased cost of installing other products from another vendor.

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Scope of the Report

The study categorizes the digital scent market based on hardware, end-user, and regions.

By Hardware Outlook (Sales, USD Million, 2017-2027)

  • Scent Synthesizer
  • E-nose

By End-Users Outlook (Sales, USD Million, 2017-2027)

  • Military and Defense
  • Healthcare
  • Food and Beverage
  • Waste Management
  • Other End-user Verticals

By Region Outlook (Sales, USD Million, 2017-2027)

  • North America (US, Canada, Mexico)
  • South America (Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Rest of Latin America)
  • Europe (Germany, Italy, France, UK, Spain, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Rest of Europe)
  • Asia Pacific (China, Japan, India, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, the Philippines, Singapore, Australia & New Zealand, Rest of Asia Pacific)
  • The Middle East & Africa (Saudi Arabia, UAE, South Africa, Northern Africa, Rest of MEA)

The e-nose segment is projected to account for the largest market share by hardware

Based on hardware, the global digital scent market is divided into scent synthesizers and e-nose. In 2020, the e-nose segment accounted for the largest market share in the global digital scent market. Solid waste includes residential, commercial, and municipal waste. An electronic nose (E-nose) is a device that detects specific components of an odor and analyzes its chemical composition to identify it. An e-nose consists of a mechanism for chemical identification consisting of an array of electronic sensors and a mechanism for pattern identification that includes a neural network. The electronic noses have been around for several years but have typically been large and expensive. The market is witnessing ongoing research to make the devices smaller, less expensive, and more sensitive. The smallest version of these solutions consists of a nose-on-a-chip, a single computer chip containing both the sensors and the processing components. The e-nose brings a corresponding number of benefits. For instance, for companies handling large-scale production activities, it is not logistically possible to track the freshness, quality, and cleanliness of each product employing human sensing with cost and quality factors. In such cases, the device helps ascertain if the goods meet quality standards. E-noses are cost-effective and cover larger areas.

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North America accounts for the highest CAGR during the forecast period

Based on the regions, the global digital scent market has been segmented across North America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, South America, and the Middle East & Africa. Globally, North America is estimated to hold the highest CAGR in the global digital scent market during the forecast period. North America holds a significant share in the digital scent industry. Factors such as developed infrastructure and the availability of resources have enabled the integration of digital scent technology in applications, such as defense, healthcare, entertainment, and food and beverages.

After North America, Europe is the fastest-growing region with a CAGR of 4.62% during the forecast period. The European countries are known to have the most stringent regulations and significant fines when violations are committed. Companies in this region deploy advanced technologies to avoid such penalties. For instance, the EU is undertaking a D-NOSES project regulating odor pollution in ten European and non-European countries. It aims to kickstart a collaborative journey in tackling odor problems. Most recently, in June 2019, BioConstruct New Energy, an anaerobic digestion plant service, operation, and construction firm, was fined GBP 14,000, with GBP 5,500 in costs for “intrusive” odor pollution and unlawful storage of waste.

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Key Market Players

The digital scent market is mildly concentrated in nature with few numbers of global players operating in the market such as Alpha MOS SA, Electronic Sensor Technology Inc., Plasmion GmbH, Odotech Inc., The eNose Company, AIRSENSE Analytics GmbH, Aryballe Technologies SA, Common Invent BV,  Sensigent LLC, and Stratuscent Inc. Every company follows its business strategy to attain the maximum market share.

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