Two new robots from Japan prove that smelltech continues to be the absolute worst. See, we've had sophisticated technology capable of detecting—and emitting—a complex array of odors for quite some time, but almost nobody has managed to do anything worthwhile with it.
These two new novelty bots to be marketed in Japan underline this truism in fat, bold permanent marker. A company called CrazyLabo has unveiled two machines—one a disembodied head in a box, the other a dog—that will react to your body odor if their sensors perceive that you stink.
The BBC explains how these charming robots work, noting that the one that resembles a woman's levitating head "ranks the operator's breath, declaring an "emergency" if it falls into the worst category. The other looks like a dog and growls when confronted with stinky feet."
In other words, they are pretty much the unholy children of Smell-O-Vision and that insufferable mechanical singing bass. Quite possibly the worst products ever—a novelty item someone might impulse buy, thinking it cute/funny in that stolid suburban kind of way, but want to smash to pieces two days later.
Also, they look like J. F. Sebastian's creepy little animatronic robots in Blade Runner; just imagine these things gyrating around, telling you, every day, that you stink.
As the BBC's report notes, these "machines take advantage of commercially available sensors, highlighting how far the tech has evolved." These artificial olfaction sensors have been on the market for over twenty years. And this is what we're doing with them. Like I said: Smelltech is the worst.