Tokyo, July 13 (IANS): A Japanese tech company on Thursday launched a device that allows people to self-test their sweaty exteriors for three categories of smell, the media reported.
The pocket-sized detector called Kunkun Body which looks like a tape recorder, connects by bluetooth to a smartphone app that divulges the potentially ominous results in a suitably discreet manner, reports the Guardian.
Konica Minolta, the firm previously best known for producing cameras and printers, believes there is a market for the odour checker in Japan because people are “particularly sensitive to smell”.
There is even a word in Japanese for the behaviour of office workers who annoy others with their noxious aromas – sumehara, or “smell harassment”.
Daisuke Koda, who is the incubation lead at Konica Minolta Japan’s business innovation centre, told the Guardian that the idea arose after a discussion he had with several male colleagues, all aged about 40, two years ago.
They were discussing the increasingly intense summer heat and confided in each other that they sometimes were afraid of how they smelled.
The device is priced at 30,000 yen ($265).
It’s not the first device aimed at addressing smell-related worries in Japan. Last year, Sony released a portable aroma diffuser called Aromastic. Owners of the device, dubbed an “aromatic Walkman”, can select which scent they want emitted in their vicinity.