If you have trouble with bad breath and happen to live in Japan, mobile phone giant NTT DoCoMo has unveiled a device that's right up your alley. According to Engadget, the Japanese company recently debuted a phone that can tell you whether or not you have halitosis.
Featured in the DoMoCo booth at this year's Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies (CEATEC) trade show, the phone rates breath on a scale from 1 to 5, with 1 indicating fresh breath and 5 signifying serious oral odor.
The device can also measure body fat percentage, as depicted in a brief video posted by the news source. It doubles as a breathalyzer, too.
How does it pick up on bad breath? Its makers have not yet released that information, but its likely that the phone measures levels of volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) in the user's exhaled air, much like a halimeter (the sensitive device that breath experts use).
The phone is not the fist portable device to measure oral odor. In 2009, researchers released a small, saliva-based test that determined whether or not a person is kissable. Fortunately, consumers don't have to salivate on the new phone in order to find out whether they have halitosis.
Several notable iPhone applications claiming to measure bad breath have been released in the past, but each one was little more than a joke. Users were often asked to blow into the phone's receiver, after which the device would deliver comical responses or recreate lewd body noises.
The proof that these apps didn't really work? Unlike the latest Japanese tech, iPhones do not come with chemical sensory systems. Any apps that appear to measure bad breath are pranks, nothing more.
If you suffer from chronic bad breath, you may consider skipping the phone and purchasing a breath freshening kit that contains specialty mouthrinses, tongue scrapers, breath strips and oral care probiotics.