No sweat: app aims to alert office workers when they start to stink

Japanese developers say device could help bring end to ‘sumehara’, or ‘smell harassment’, by those who disturb colleagues with their body odour

Worried your body odour is out of control but suspect your colleagues are too polite to say anything about it? Now there’s an app for that, too.

A Japanese tech company has begun selling a device that allows people to self-test their sweaty exteriors for three categories of smell.

The pocket-sized detector, which looks like a tape recorder, connects by Bluetooth to a smartphone app that divulges the potentially ominous results in a suitably discreet manner.

Konica Minolta, the firm previously best known for producing cameras and printers, believes there is a market for the odour checker in Japan because people are “particularly sensitive to smell”.

There is even a word in Japanese for the behaviour of office workers who annoy others with their noxious aromas – sumehara, or “smell harassment”.

At a launch event in Tokyo on Thursday, this reporter discovered the inevitable consequences of walking 30 minutes in the searing summer sun to get to the venue.

A check behind the ear revealed fairly high readings of sweat smells and middle-fat odours. “Immediately care is needed,” the app warned in a message on the results page.

There was, however, nothing detected in the category kareishū – which translates as old-age smell, commonly associated with the substance 2-nonenal.

Source: The Guardian

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