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Phew! New app detects body odor

Phew! New app detects body odor

You rely on your smartphone for many different reasons. You occupy yourself on airplanes by watching TV, play games while sitting at a restaurant waiting for the rest of your party to arrive, or simply use it to actually communicate.

Whatever the reason, smartphones now play an imperative role in everyday life; society has grown so dependent on these devices that scientists are now thinking of new ways in which smartphones can communicate with us about our bodies. More specifically, the status of our hygiene.

Dare I say it, when it comes to body odor, smartphones are here to save the day!

Thanks to the innovative experts at Nivea, they have launched a new product called Nivea Men NOSE, which involves downloading an app and purchasing a special mobile phone cover that acts as an electronic nose.

To activate the app, you simply place the phone near your armpit and the electronic nose sensors will detect the smell and determine whether “It’s OK,” “It’s Time,” or “It’s Urgent” to apply deodorant. Afterwards, take a minute to process the fact that you have been sniffed by your phone. Science is incredible!

Curious to know how it works? VP of New Applications Development Brian Kinkade at SPEC Sensors breaks it down for us, “So we have two kinds of sensors [in the phone cover]. They basically breakdown the chemical bonds of compounds in the air, and when those compounds are broken apart they generate electrons, and those freed electrons create low levels of current that we turn into a voltage, thus a signal of how much concentration of bad smell or good smell is coming to the sensor.”

The next step is for the app to pick up on the stench signal.

Head of Technology Quang Thanh at BLISS Interactive further explains, “The smell sensor will detect the chemicals in the air, transform to digital data, and transmit them to the app. The app will then retrieve the data and use a defined algorithm to determine the result.”

According to the Huffington Post, Nivea will determine whether to sell the sensor-armed covers separately or as part of their body care package. If the demand is high enough once the product hits the market, the technology may actually be integrated into all phones in the next couple of years.

Professor Nosang Myung of University of California at Riverside, who invented an electronic nose, said the technology may eventually get to a place where it will determine stench levels by detecting human sweat.

For a live demonstration, check out this YouTube video.

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