Konica Minolta’s ‘KunKun’ Body Device Discreetly Alerts Users to Body Odors

Daisuke Koda, from Konica Minolta, demonstrates the use of the Kunkun body odour checker behind the ear. The results show up on a smartphone app via Bluetooth.

DaisukeKoda, from Konica Minolta, demonstrates the use of the body odor checker behind the ear. Photograph: Daniel Hurst for the Guardian

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.

%d bloggers like this: