Konica Minolta Starts Presale of Kunkun body, a Body Odor Measuring Solution, through Crowdfunding in Japan
Using an Odor Measuring Platform Developed Jointly with Osaka Institute of Technology
Tokyo (July 31, 2017) - Konica Minolta, Inc. (Konica Minolta) started presale of Kunkun body, a body odor measuring solution, in Japan on July 13, 2017, through Business Innovation Center (BIC) Japan, an organization responsible for developing new businesses in response to regional and market needs. In preselling the device, Konica Minolta is using the Makuake crowdfunding service (https://www.makuake.com/), a platform which solicits support for innovative ideas.
For Kunkun body, Konica Minolta uses an odor measuring platform developed jointly with Osaka Institute of Technology through open innovation.
Presale of Kunkun body
Prior to the official launch, Konica Minolta started presale of Kunkun body on Thursday, July 13, 2017, using the Makuake crowdfunding service, a platform which solicits support for innovative ideas (https://www.makuake.com/).
Makuake is the most accessed and one of the largest platforms in Japan and has supported about 2,500 projects to date, and thus will increase public recognition and understanding of Kunkun body.
By preselling Kunkun body, Konica Minolta aims to gauge the response of its supporters, and thus offer solutions to better address various social issues for the good of society.
Following the presale of Kunkun body, Konica Minolta will offer the device for trial use in the following facilities and stores:
- Umeda campus of Osaka Institute of Technology
- NEUTRALWORKS.TOKYO by Goldwin sportswear manufacturer in Kita-Aoyama
- THE NORTH FACE + Grand Front Osaka store, MXP deodorant underwear section
- Selected Loft stores
At Loft stores, Kunkun body will be on display in accordance with the following schedule.
- August 5 (Sat.) - August 8 (Tue.), 2017
Sendai Loft, next to the 2nd floor main entrance
- August 5 (Sat.) - August 6 (Sun.), 2017
Sapporo Loft, 6th floor, Esta
- August 11 (Fri.) – August 13 (Sun.), 2017
Senri Bampaku Loft, 1st floor, LaLaport EXPOCITY; Tenjin Loft, 2nd floor
- July 16 (Sun.) – August 16 (Wed.), 2017
Umeda Tsutaya Bookstore
Joint Development with Osaka Institute of Technology
Konica Minolta BIC Japan has been working to identify and examine social problems relating to odors from customers’ viewpoints to offer solutions to such problems to society.
Meanwhile, the Faculty of Robotics and Design of Osaka Institute of Technology has been studying ways of distinguishing different odors through neural network-based AI technology using gas sensors, led by Dr. Shigeru Omatsu, visiting professor.
By using several gas sensors, Konica Minolta BIC Japan and Osaka Institute of Technology jointly developed a technology to identify the characteristics of individual odors, learn the differences, and discriminate among different odors. The result is a new odor measuring platform.
The technology is effective not only for measuring body odors, but also for solving problems relating to odors with its ability to visualize odors around us.
Konica Minolta and Osaka Institute of Technology have been jointly developing the device and solutions to visualize odors by combining their respective technologies through open innovation and industry-university cooperation, enabling them to complete the process from planning to commercialization of Kunkun body in only two years or so.
1. Value offered by Kunkun body
With its pioneering ability to measure body odors*, Kunkun body can display levels of three major body odors, namely sweat odor, old-age odor, and sebum (oil) skin odor unique to middle-aged people. Generally speaking, people cannot easily recognize their own odors; they become desensitized through prolonged exposure to the same smell, a phenomenon called odor masking. Kunkun body can easily measure such odors, reducing people’s anxiety about their own body odors that they cannot easily recognize.
2. Main features
Kunkun body, simply consisting of a device and a smartphone application, can measure odors of the scalp, armpits, skin behind the ears, and feet. Measured odor data are sent via Bluetooth and displayed in the smartphone app in 20 seconds or so. Odors are classified into 10 levels, allowing users to objectively decide whether they need to take some deodorizing measures, for example.
Under the brand proposition “Giving Shape to Ideas,” Konica Minolta remains committed to delivering services that offer new value to customers, helping achieve a better society and serving as a company that is vital to society.
*Based on its internal survey, Konica Minolta considers that Kunkun body is the world’s first device to detect three major odors, namely, sweat odor, old-age odor and sebum (oil) skin odor unique to middle-aged people.