Konica Minolta’s ‘KunKun’ Body Device Discreetly Alerts Users to Body Odors
No, don’t check the date, this isn’t April Fools Day, and the KunKun body-odor detector from Konica Minolta is real.
According to The Guardian, Konica Minolta launched the KunKun (Japanese for “sniff, sniff”)yesterday in Tokyo. It’s a pocket-size smell detector that looks like a tape recorder, and connects by Bluetooth to a smartphone app installed on a user’s smartphone. The app “divulges the potentially ominous results in a suitably discreet manner.”
Konica Minolta believes there’s a market for the odor checker in Japan because people are “particularly sensitive to smell” there:
“There is even a word in Japanese for the behaviour of office workers who annoy others with their noxious aromas – sumehara, or “smell harassment.'”
The device detects three types of odors: sweat, “middle-fat odors,” and “old-age smell” – the last of which is commonly associated with the substance 2-nonenal. The device may be used to test for smells in four locations: near the head, behind the ear, under the armpit, and around the feet.
According to The Guardian: “The device is available to Japanese buyers as part of a set of care products in a crowdfunding drive launched on Thursday morning. Early adopters are offered discounts on the recommended retail price of 30,000 yen (US$265 or £206) with the devices set to be delivered later this year.
Konica Minolta – perhaps unfortunately – says it has no current plans to sell the device outside of Japan.