Sunday 23 April 2017

This app will tell you if you smell - even if your friends won't

The KunKun - Japanese for
The KunKun - Japanese for "sniff, sniff" - looks like a digital tape recorder and connects to a smartphone app

James Titcomb

The hygiene-conscious can now rely on a mobile app to tell them the truth when their colleagues are too polite, after the invention of a Bluetooth device that can detect unpleasant body odours.

Japanese electronics company Konica Minolta said it plans to bring out a pocket-sized gadget that can detect an array of smells from sweaty feet to an unpleasant greasy odour.

The KunKun - Japanese for "sniff, sniff" - looks like a digital tape recorder and connects to a smartphone app to warn users if they start to smell. It works by detecting a number of chemicals commonly associated with bad smells such as ammonia and isovaleric acid common in sweaty changing rooms, or 2-nonenal, an odour associated with ageing.

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When the information is sent to the smartphone app, it can tell them if they have passed or failed a smell test using a meter.

It was invented after a group of male employees at the Japanese firm, which has traditionally made printers and photo film, shared concerns with each other about co-workers being too courteous to warn them about poor hygiene.

“It’s difficult to recognize your own smell,” Konica Minolta’s Daisuke Koda told the Wall Street Journal. “We can give relief by telling people how smelly they are and freeing them from the anxiety of not knowing.”

The company plans to sell the KunKun device for a price equivalent to a few hundred pounds, beginning in Japan this summer.

Telegraph.co.uk

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