Halitosis, 1997

measuring precisely what we do not want to know

The Halitosis Sensor is a design for a device that measures the amount of bad breath in humans. Substantial research was conducted to demonstrate the feasibility of the device, which could be implemented in a MEMS like process, be reusable and reliable.

This piece is an exercise in using powerful quantitative techniques to access an intimate qualitative domain by measuring a socially sensitive limit. The process of measuring halitosis with more accuracy than necessary reinforces the idea that it exists mostly in others and heightens -strangely- the undesirability of bad breath beyond the 'badness' of bad breath itself.