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Google wants you smelling nice with new patented tech

Although Google may be putting its wearable headset Google Glass on the backburner, the search engine giant may have the next big thing on its hands already: a wearable odour-neutraliser.

The Mountain View-based company has patented the portable gadget, which is capable of detecting bad smells and then de-odorising them.

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The patent describes the as-yet-unnamed product as both an “odor removing device” and a “fragrance emission device,” and perhaps strangest of all, it can also connect to your social media accounts to help you avoid friends when you’re at your smelliest. The patent document describes the device as follows:

"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."

Perhaps the search firm will look to incorporate the technology into a fitness band of some sort, in order to tap into the wearable tech world’s obsession with staying active and any odour-related issues that may emerge as a result.

In fact, a fitness peripheral could end up as the perfect fit for the gadget, as the patent also describes being able to detect when a user is likely to being generating body odour and neutralising the smell in advance.

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Of course, with the sheer number of patents filed by technology heavyweights like Google, it is likely that the odour-combating gadget is nothing more than a throwaway concept, but if not, expect Google to control our smell as well as our search results any time now.

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with IT Pro Portal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.