Google has patented a wearable de-stink machine.
While the search giant's main efforts in wearable tech still revolve around notifications, head-mounted cameras and smartphones, Google is apparently also experimenting with nasal-based reality augmentation.
Phys.org reports that Google was issued a patent for a device that can be worn on clothes, and improve the odours surrounding - or indeed emerging from - your person.
The gadget, described as a “"odor removing device" and a "fragrance emission device”, would bone able to detect bad smells, de- or re-odourise them. It could also let you know if your friends are nearby, based on social media posts, and help you to avoid them if you’re particularly smelly.
The patent defines:
“A portable device comprising: a sensor operable to detect a physical activity of a user; an odor prediction portion in communication with the sensor and configured to generate an indication of predicted user odor based on detected physical activity of the user; a communication portion operable to access one or more social networks via a communication network, wherein the device is capable of communicating with a social network of contacts; and a route suggesting portion operable to provide a suggested route away from a set of defined persons within the social network of contacts responsive to the indication of the predicted user odor.”
The patent apparently also describes how the gadget could tell when you are working out and pre-emptively work against the inevitable funk before you even know that you smell.
“Once the predictor determines when the user will begin to generate body odor, an optional alert module located within the device may alert the user of the situation and let the user know when the fragrance will be emitted. The user will then have the opportunity to override the impending fragrance emission, based on the current circumstances of the user. For instance, the user may be planning on showering immediately after the physical activity, and therefore may choose to reject the fragrance emission.”
Needless to say, the existence of this patent means almost nothing as to the likelihood of Google ever selling such a device. It’s more likely this is just something that popped up inside its R&D labs, or its April Fool's day joke brainstorming session, and is theoretically valuable enough to be worth protecting.
Still, there is at least a prospect that you might one day have a watch capable of making you and the people you love stink slightly less, and that can probably only be a good thing.