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Google patented a wearable that stops you from stinking

Talk about personal technology.


AJ Dellinger


Posted on Feb 12, 2015   Updated on May 29, 2021, 1:28 pm CDT

Google isn’t really sure how to tell you this but… you stink. Luckily for you, the search giant just received a patent on Tuesday from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a new wearable odor-sensing tool that can help eliminate any unpleasant smells that may be emanating from your body and make sure you don’t offend any nearby noses.

The “Odor removing device,” as it’s labeled on the patent, would consist of an activity sensor that can detect when the wearer is active. “When a user is wearing the fragrance emission device and begins to exert himself or herself, an activity module within the device may detect the physical exertion,” explains the text of the patent. “The activity module may detect a rise in sweat levels, an increase in body odor or body temperature, or any other parameter that may indicate the user is exercising or otherwise exerting themself.”

Should the wearer start to work up such a sweat that their smell begins wafting, Google’s device would neutralize the smell with a blast of an odor eliminator (which I imagine is tentatively named Googel No. 5. Or perhaps L’Air Du Goog). Basically, it’s like having a Glade PlugIn on you at all times.

In a slightly stranger application of the device, Google also plans to use the wearable to help users steer clear of friends and acquaintances when not at peak personal hygiene. The smell sensor plugs into a user’s social networks and pull out location information. If a person is about to run into a contact, the device reroutes the wearer so they won’t cross paths during a scent crisis, leaving their friends sniffing curiously in the hallway before going about their day.

The patent was initially filed in August 2012 by Motorola Mobility while under Google ownership. When Google sold the company to Lenovo in 2014, it retained most of the company’s portfolio of patents, including this one. Perhaps the Motorola offices were particularly unpleasant-smelling under Google’s management.

Whether we ever see this patent applied to any actual device is yet to be seen but seems unlikely. Many patents are filed without ever turning into a tangible product. It’s unclear what Google may have up its sleeve, but based on this patent, it’s definitely not deodorant.

Google did not respond to request for comment.

H/T CNET | Photo via Kullez/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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*First Published: Feb 12, 2015, 3:46 pm CST