'Nasal Ranger' Smelloscope Will Save Cities From Stinky Pot

Colorado's newly legalised marijuana industry has had an unforeseen dark side: pungent dankness running wild on the noses of innocent citizens. Only a mechanical hero could save them. Call in the Nasal Ranger.

Yes, in order to better investigate odour complaints, Denver Police are using a bizarre-looking nose telescope that quantifies the stinkiness of stinky stinks. The Nasal Ranger Field Olfactometer, designed and manufactured by the family-owned, Minnesota-based business St. Croix Sensory, is actually a rather ingenious device. To function, a dial-operated mixer delivers varying ratios of filtered and full-flavour air to the operator's nose. Meek odours wash out when mixed with small amounts of purified air, while a particularly stinky smell can still remain detectable in a 500:1 mix. The History Channel's Modern Marvels demonstrates:

This past summer, Gizmodo's Editor-in-Chief Geoff Manaugh and his wife, writer Nicola Twilley — of NYC cow tunnel fame — visited St. Croix Sensory to learn more about the Nasal Ranger first-hand. Or first-nose, as the case may be. There, the firm's co-founder and technical director, Charles McGinley, led them through the odoriferous process.

To facilitate its use and application, the ingenious smelloscope offers an ODOR TRACK'R GPS-powered app, storing data from every sniff check to create a stink-map. Perfect for keeping an eye (or a nose) on repeat olfactory offenders.

So far, the majority of Denver's doobie dankness complaints have stemmed from growers, not consumers. Wielding the Nasal Ranger, an officer can impose a fine of up to $US2,000 for odours detectable beyond an 8:1 clean-to-stinky ratio. Obviously, this isn't new technology; the Nasal Ranger has been used for over a decade to monitor offensive or dangerous odour production in agriculture, industry and sanitation facilities.

But legalising marijuana opens up a whole unfamiliar realm for state governments, and this strange device could give police departments some quantitative sway in arguments between legal pot producers and their scent-sensitive neighbours.Denver Police expect a whole new wave of smell complaints when retail sale of marijuana becomes legal on January 1st, 2014. So you Denverites might want to fan your arms around if you see Johnny Law unholster that smelloscope. [The Telegraph, TheDenverChannel via VICE]

Top image and map courtesy Odor Track-r; photos by St. Croix Sensory courtesy Venue

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