The conversations of life

Can’t tell if you’ve got BO or not? There’s an app for that – in Japan


Taking its name from the Japanese word for ‘sniff’, Kunkun Body is a pocket-sized device that allows people to self-test their sweat in four locations – near the head, behind the ear, under the armpit and around the feet – for three categories of smell.

The Kunkun Body app

The app connects via Bluetooth to a smartphone app that sends you the results, warning if “immediately care is needed.”

Camera company Konica Minolta developed the app to alert workers to what the Japanese call ‘sumehara’ or ‘smell harassment’ – when people annoy their colleagues with their body odour, The Guardian reports.

No need to sweat it out

Their studies showed that body odour was the number one problem in the workplace, but there were no smell-detecting devices on the market. At the same time, people found it difficult to tell their colleagues that they had BO (been there before!)

The device is now selling for 30,000 yen (US$265) as part of a crowdfunding campaign ahead of its release later this year.

Sadly there are currently no plans to sell it outside of Japan. It’s a shame – they sound perfect for summer on Sydney’s public transport.

Lauren is a journalist for, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.

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