When you think of companies that specialize in deodorant, names like Old Spice, Suave, Axe, Dove and maybe Febreze spring to mind. But according to recently awarded patents, there’s a surprise player with a nose for the odor-removing business: Google.
AdAge reports that Google Technology Holdings was awarded a patent last week for an “odor removal device” that contains an automatic fragrance emitter that can learn our habits and combat body odor.
According to the patent [PDF], which was first submitted in 2012, the small fan-like device seems to be an amalgamation of an automatic air freshener and a wearable device.
The yet-to-be-named product includes an activity sensor to help predict when body odor might strike and a communications network that allows users to avoid acquaintances.
“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,” the patent states. “The predictor then uses the information provided by the activity module to predict when the user will generate body odor in the future and when a fragrance will need to be applied.”
While the patent frequently refers to emissions from the device as fragrance, it does note that at times an odor neutralizer may be applied.
Over time the device would learn a users odor emitting habits and provide alerts for which the user could override the emission system and take care of things on their own.
The integrated communications portion of the product would to help users avoid acquaintances while not smelling fresh by accessing one or more social networks.
“In some cases, the device may learn that some of the user’s special contacts are in the same areas as the user…However, to avoid subjecting the social contacts to the odor, the device may include a route suggesting portion that can notify the user that his contacts are in the area,” the patent states.
In that case, the GPS supported route suggestion generator would provide alternative paths so the user can avoid contact with people they know.
The patent submission did not provide information on how the device would be worn, but from schematic drawings, it could simply click onto a belt, pocket to collar of one’s clothing.
It’s unclear when or if the device will be made for public consumption.