You don’t need (or want) to depend upon your subway neighbors’ grimaces to tell you that your natural aroma is more of a stench. For the sake of everyone around you, you’ll want to do everything you can to cut down on body odor during these hot and sweaty months. Recognition of a problem is the first step to solving it — and a new handheld device will sniff your armpits and other odor-producing regions to let you know exactly how stinky you really are.
Imagined by the perennially creative minds in Japan (this isn’t the first Japanese device to smell you), this new device comes from a company called Tanita, and it’s called the ES-100. It quite literally takes the dirty work out of your hygiene — or at least, part of it. The ES-100 is rather discreet when it’s not being used, resembling an old-school pager of sorts. When you want to use it, flip the top part outwards, creating a handheld wand that you can use to check behind your ears, your armpits, or anywhere else, without awkwardly craning your neck to get your nose to its (un)desired location.
The ES-100 measures the intensity of your body odor, assigning you a numerical rating from 0 to 10. In this case, a perfect 10 is not what you’re looking for from the digital judges.
So how does it do it? The ES-100 scans your body for odor-producing particulates, much in the same way a breathalyzer might check your breath for alcohol particulate. When you want to give yourself a check, simply power it on, whip out the sensor, and stick it toward whichever body part you’re checking. About 10 seconds later, you’ll get a numeric answer as to how much you stink. It’s unclear if you have to hold the wand in your pits for 10 seconds, or if you just have to sit on the edge of your seat for 10 seconds while you’re silently judged by an inanimate object.
A word to the wise, however. The ES-100 measures the intensity of a smell you’re emanating, so if you’ve doused yourself in perfume or cologne, you could also get a negative reading.
The device will go on sale on July 1, and pricing will be decided by individual retailers in Japan. Alas, for the time being, it doesn’t seem as though we’ll be able to get it in the U.S. — but here’s hoping it crosses the ocean soon. In the meantime, at least your gym clothes won’t stink, right?