Gone are the days when you had to sniff your own armpits to check if you stink. A Japanese device ‘KunKun’ will monitor your body odor and tell you via a smartphone app if you stink.
Bizzare, isn’t it? KunKun is Japanese for ‘sniff sniff.’ The pocket-sized device is developed by a Japanese corporation named Konika Minolta to detect bodily odors like underarm sweat or smelly feet. Developers say people can easily identify if other people stink, but are oblivious to their own stench. But no one would ever tell you that you smell, right? Konica Minolta’s Daisuke Koda says, “We can give relief by telling people how smelly they are and freeing them from the anxiety of not knowing.”
The device conveniently fits in a coat pocket and detects specific chemicals associated with body odors. The two chemicals associated with the kind of smell that comes from a sweaty locker room are ammonia and isovaleric acid. 2-nonenal is linked to the smell that comes with old age and diacetyl makes you smell like ‘rancid cooking oil’. KunKun can detect all four of these and lets you know immediately whenever you stink.
The device doesn’t just notify when you stink; it also tells you how much you stink using a color-coded meter. A stink-0-meter if we may call it. The idea was pitched by Hiroshi Akiyama, a 43-year-old man working in Konika Minolta when he became worried of his body odor. The company then partnered with Osaka Institute of Technology to develop the ‘sniff sniff’ stink-o-meter.
The gadget will go on sale in Japan this summer, but the price is unknown. It is expected to cost a few hundred dollars. Meanwhile, the company is working to enhance the capabilities of KunKun to detect smells like cigarette smoke, excess perfume or even pet smell.