Contrary to popular belief, it is not, in fact, the responsibility of your significant other to sniff your pits to tell you if you smell. Sure, he or she may do it for you, but that’s just one of the downsides of love. Luckily, there is another someone, or rather, something that can sniff your pits. It’s called the Kukun Body, and it’s a tiny little device that connects to your smartphone and will tell you if you reek.
Finding its place among the sometimes outlandish yet wonderful ideas to come out of Japan, the Kukun Body will scan four odor-producing body parts — the feet, the area behind the ear, the head, and the pits. The device scans for three different smells, namely sweat, middle-fat odors, and what the Japanese call karesihu, or “old age smell.” Once the device is done doing its thing, the companion app will tell you what you need to hear, even if it’s unpleasant.
If you really need to deal with your B.O., the app will tell you, “Immediately care is needed.” Other times, the news might not be quite so … upsetting.
Developed by Daisuke Koda, the device is actually a couple years in the making. Koda is the incubation lead at Konica Minolta, Japan’s business innovation center, and told the Guardian that he was inspired to create such a device after a conversation about smelly summer days with some colleagues.
“We looked for a device to measure body smell, only to find that there was no device at all to tell the different types of smells,” Koda said. “That prompted us to think it might be an opportunity for a new business and we continued our research further deeper.”
Apparently, in Japan, body odor is the primary etiquette concern in the workplace. But of course, telling someone they smell bad is an even bigger etiquette no-no. “We see challenges that these people are aware of but nobody has a solution for,” Kida noted.
For the time being, the Kukun Body is only available to folks in Japan, and is set to launch later in the year for about $265. You can actually help support the Kukun Body by donating to its crowdfunding page, though that still won’t get you a device of your own.