This Pocket-Sized Device Connects to Your Phone to Let You Know When You Stink

The KunKun, Japanese for “sniff sniff”, is a bizarre device developed by Japanese corporation Konika Minolta that detects bodily odors like smelly feet or underarm sweat and notifies the user about them via a smartphone app.

So, yeah, the days of smelling your own armpits when nobody’s watching to see if they stink are over, thanks to modern technology. Now you can just wear the KunKun everywhere you go and find out when you’re starting to stink just by checking your phone. It’s small enough to fit in a coat pocket, so no one will ever know you’re carrying it, and features sensors that pick up specific chemicals associated with three types of bodily odors. It can detect ammonia and isovaleric acid, chemicals known to produce that nasty sweaty locker-room smell, but also 2-nonenal, which is associated with old age and diacetyl, a controversial organic compound that makes yo smell like “rancid cooking oil”.


When the information is sent from the KunKun to the smartphone, users are notified if they have passed or failed a smell test using a color-coded meter. “It’s difficult to recognize your own smell,” Konica Minolta’s Daisuke Koda told the Wall Street Journal. “We can give relief by telling people how smelly they are and freeing them from the anxiety of not knowing.”

The KunKun was thought up by Hiroshi Akiyama, a 43-year-old man who became worried about his bodily odor, and pitched his idea to Konika Minolta. A lot of men over the age of 40 are apparently stressed out by this problem, so the company was very interested in providing a high-tech fix. They teamed up with scientists at the at the Osaka Institute of Technology and developed this weird little “sniff sniff” device.


The bodily odor sensing gadget is set to go on sale in Japan this summer, but Konika Minolta is already working on enhancing its capabilities. They are trying to make it detect pet smells, cigarette smoke and excess perfume.

The price of the KunKun has yet to be revealed, but it’s estimated to cost a few hundreds of dollars.


Source: Konika Minolta

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