Panasonic's deodorizer freshens your shoes while you sleep

It's high-tech shoe care we didn't know we needed.

In a world where self-driving cars are taking to the roads and computers are having casual conversations with salon receptionists, it's easy to forget that many companies are still working hard on solutions for low-tech, everyday problems. Smelly feet, for example. You'd think we'd have that nailed by now, but as Panasonic's newest launch demonstrates, there's still a lot of innovation to be had in this arena. Forget simply slapping a couple of scented insoles into your kicks -- Panasonic, the brains behind the deodorizing coat hanger, wants the business of shoe deodorizing to be a tech experience.

The catchily-titled MS-DS100 is a shoe freshening device that emits ion particles containing hydroxyl radicals to dissolve and eliminate stinky odors. Plop the gadget into your shoe, and the particles are emitted from six --six! -- outlets, removing whiffs from every corner of the shoe, heel to toe. There are even two operation modes to choose from: normal mode for your everyday pongs, and long mode, designed to really set science on those stubborn smells -- both are designed to be used overnight. It wouldn't be innovation if it wasn't mobile, of course, so it can be powered by a battery as well as via a power outlet. And it comes in a snazzy storage case. No word yet on colour options or memory specifications (this is a joke).

It's easy to poke fun at this sort of product, of course. The fact that big budgets, science and research are given to something as relatively inconsequential as smelly feet seems almost bizarre against the wider tech innovation landscape. But it's good to know that age-old human problems aren't being completely overlooked in favor of tomorrow's automated idyll. Still, if you are reading this in a genuine bid to solve your stinky feet woes, sorry to say that the MS-DS100 is only currently available in Japan. However, Panasonic says it hopes the product will create new market demand, and let's be honest, even with all the tech advances in the world sweaty feet are always going to be an issue, so it may well roll out overseas in the future.