How the Stimulating Smell of Wasabi Can Save Lives

The Japanese are renowned for developing some of the most innovative gadgets and new technologies in the world. Now, one company has developed a new type of smoke alarm for the deaf. Anyone who has eaten sushi knows that if you have too much of it, it can get right up your nose and make your eyes water. That was the catalyst Chigusa Shimokawa needed to come up with the idea of a smoke alarm for the deaf that releases the smell of wasabi. In tests, most people in a dead sleep woke up to the smell within one to two minutes. Nailing down the ideal density of the wasabi odor turned out to be the key element, but before it even got to that stage the researchers had to work through a lot of substances before settling on the strong smell of the Japanese horseradish. As many as 700 million people across the world could benefit from the wasabi smoke detector, the firm said, adding that overseas hotels have already contacted the company about getting some for their rooms.