Japan's Tanita Co., Ltd. has released a new product called the ES-100 that can gauge how strongly a person smells in just a few seconds at the wave of a hand. The wand-shaped device folds neatly into a square when not in use and is said to work on the same premise as a breathalyzer. While the latter device analyzes particles of alcohol in a person's breath, the Tanita ES-100 analyzes components typically found in sweat. A rating is provided on a digital scale located on the device between zero and ten. A lower rating means that fewer particulates have been measured. The process takes around ten seconds and taking a measurement is very straightforward. Buyers simply need to unfold the device and then wave it near or around the body part they're trying to get a rating for. The device turns on and begins analysis automatically.
Although the device is also relatively compact, measuring 94mm x 52mm x 25mm when folded and weighing in at just 60g, there are one or two caveats to the Tanita ES-100. To begin with, it is currently only available in Japan and costs are not being set by the manufacturer. Instead, it varies from retailer to retail with each setting its own price. What's more, the tech inside the sensor can only take approximately 2,000 measurements before needing to be replaced. The company indicates that's easy enough to accomplish but the pricing for replacement cartridges has also been left open to retailer discretion. Finally, the device is technically measuring a number of particles rather than having any ability to judge how 'bad' a smell is. While there is some correlation there, the ES-100 won't necessarily be a great product for those who wear a lot of cologne, perfume, or similar products.
Having said that, that doesn't mean there's not a market for the ES-100. Tanita says that beyond consumers who are concerned about how they might smell before going out on a date, its current focus in on the business sector for customers in the 40 to 50 age demographic. That makes a lot of sense since its a sector of the market where prospective buyers are less likely to be using overpowering scent-based products, to begin with. However, it's also an area where strange or bad smells can severely impact a career.