Macs and iOS devices can listen and talk; one day they may taste and smell

In the long-ago days of 2012, IBM's seventh annual "5 in 5" -- a list of innovations that "have the potential to change the way people work, live and interact during the next five years" — predicted that computers would gain the ability to smell and taste. It hasn't happened yet, but is there a need for your Mac or iOS device to be able to sniff scents?

IBM predicts that tiny sensors embedded in your computer or cell phone will detect if you're coming down with a cold or other illness. By analyzing odors, biomarkers and thousands of molecules in someone's breath, doctors will have help diagnosing and monitoring the onset of ailments such as liver and kidney disorders, asthma, diabetes and epilepsy by detecting which odors are normal and which are not.

Perhaps such tech could some tie in with Apple's Health app and HealthKit software. Currently, the apps are only on iOS devices. But other iOS apps have come to Mac OS X, so — who knows? — perhaps OS X 10.12 or OS X 10.13 will be able to smell. And even taste.

A company called Aromyx has created a microchip that can reportedly detect, interpret and identify smells and tastes just like a human brain. The company says the chips can be manufactured for $300 each.

Who knows? If Apple had any interest in Macs that can smell (and taste) maybe this will be their next acquisition.