Home Society & Culture Japanese Company Hopes To End Stinky Salarymen With New Smell Checking Device

Japanese Company Hopes To End Stinky Salarymen With New Smell Checking Device

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How smelly are you?

Over the past several years the word sumehara┬áhas risen to prominence in Japan. Derived from the combination of the English words “smell” and “harassment,” sumehara is the olfactory cousin of sexual harassment. In other words, it refers to the act of causing discomfort to others – particularly in the workplace – via unpleasant body odors. In an effort to combat┬ásumehara, Tanita, a Japanese company known for making scales and other measuring instruments, has created a pocket size device, which allows users to digitally check just how smelly they are long before they accidentally cause innocent noses to suffer.

Released on July 1, the ES-100, as it has been dubbed, is a black handheld device based on technology used in a device Tanita began selling in 1999, which is designed to detect the smell of alcohol in one’s breath. In contrast to that device though, the ES-100 is designed to detect body odor and even the overuse of cologne and perfume. Using it is very simple. All one has to do is extend the sensor and point it at the area you want to check. Within about 10 seconds the screen will display a number between zero and 10, with anything over a five indicating that odor suppression measures should be taken.

The makers explain that their main target is businessmen (aka salarymen) in their 40s and 50s, since this, they say, is the age range when men begin to become particularly conscious of their body odor. However, Tanita also notes that this is a great device for people to use before dates and any situation in which they’ll be in close proximity to others – in other words, pretty much anywhere when in Tokyo.


The device is now on sale for the equivalent of almost $130 USD (via Tanita’s website) and can be used for roughly 2,000 times before the sensor cartridge has to be replaced. Replacements cost roughly $50 USD. Unfortunately, Tanita has yet to offer any solutions for the awkwardness that will undoubtedly ensue after you give one of these to that stinky guy that sits next to you at work.

Source: Tanita via IT Meda
Images: Tanita

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