For anyone who has ever worked in an office environment, one of the most awkward things is how to let one of your colleagues know that they kind of stink. Literally. Okay, probably no one has actually told an officemate that, unless you’re a jerk or unless you’re really that close of a friend to him/her. In Japan apparently, the number one etiquette concern is body smell, which led to Konika Minolta creating a pocket-sized odor detector which can tell you if you’re emitting a not so pleasant odor.
The device is called Kunkun Body, which is from the Japanese word for sniff. You can use it to test for smell in four critical olfactory areas: near the head, behind the ear, under the armpit, and around the feet. It’s shaped like a tape recorder and connects to your smartphone through Bluetooth. It will give you the results in a discreet manner through the app, telling you which category your smell falls into. It will even give you advice if “immediate care” is needed aka you probably have to freshen up.
If you have a problem with an officemate, you can probably give this as a gift to everyone in the office so as not to be that obvious that you’re pertaining to a particular person. However, for now, it is only being sold in Japan where there is even a word for officemates who actually smell. It’s called “sumehara” or “smell harassment”. The odor checker is expected to sell in the country, not just because it’s the land of “interesting” (read, weird) products but because they’re “particularly sensitive to smell.”
Kunkun Body is being sold as part of a set of care products and they’re selling it in a crowdfunding drive. They can get it a discounted price of 30,000 yen (around $265) before it hits the market at a higher price. There are no plans to sell it outside of Japan for now.
VIA: The Guardian