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New gadget warns you when you smell bad

Commentary: Kunkun Body aims to alert you before others get sniffy in your direction.

 Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Perfect for that awkward behind-the-ear stink.

Kunkun Body screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

We're in the middle of the sweaty season.

You don't want to be within 20 feet of a New Yorker right now, given the humidity. That's 10 feet more than usual. 

How, though, can we ever know just what deleterious odors we're emitting? How can we avoid descending into the armpit of despair?

Naturally, someone's come up with a technological solution. That someone is famed camera and printer maker Konica Minolta

As the Guardian reports, the Kunkun Body system -- launched on Thursday -- consists of a discreet detector that connects to your phone through an app and alerts you when your personal odor emissions have become noxious.

It focuses on four body areas. Your armpits, your feet, your head and, oddly, just behind your ear. I've never considered how the backs of my ears smelled. Perhaps I should ask people behind me in elevators.

What smells, though, can this device detect? After all, one person's bad smell is another's "Ah, my lover is back from the bar."

Kunkun Body claims to detect sweaty stink, so-called middle-fat odors and what the Japanese call karesihu. This, roughly, might be described as old people smell. 

What, though, are you supposed to do if you suddenly get a stinky notification and you're heading into a job interview?

Should you carry little vials of fragrance with you at all times? This could utterly alter lifestyles.

It's unclear whether this device will be available to improve the stink in American society. Konica Minolta didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Kunkun Body will retail for 30,000 yen (around $265) and it currently enjoys a fragrant crowdfunding page that already crows "success!"

Success in life can sometimes be measured by people not recoiling in your presence. This device may truly save careers and relationships. It could even make you socially acceptable.

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