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Japanese Scientist Creates Lickable TV With 10 Mixable Flavors For Viewers To Taste What They’re Watching


Roald Dahl may have popularized the concept of lickable wallpaper in his classic novel Charlie and the chocolate factory, but a Japanese professor took the idea a step further by creating a licking television that can accurately mimic the flavors of food.

The device, called Taste the TV (TTTV), relies on 10 aroma cartridges to vaporize in tandem to recreate the flavor of foods, including chocolate, on stretched film on a TV.

Licking the screen enhances viewers’ multisensory appreciation of what they are watching, helping them connect and interact with the outside world, according to Professor Homei Miyashita of Meiji University in Japan.

“The goal is to allow people to experience something like eating in a restaurant halfway around the world, even while staying at home,” he said. Reuters.

The device itself consists of a large circular carousel housing the cans, connected to a large base containing a small flat screen covered with film.

It is equipped to respond to voice commands, processing the request before vaporizing the desired flavor on the screen for the viewer to taste.

The lickable TV screen prototype can mimic the flavors of various foods (Photo: Reuters)

Professor Miyashita is working with a team of 30 students, but has developed the prototype TV himself over the past year and has spoken to companies about the possibility of using his aroma spray technology in a device. which applies the taste of a pizza or chocolate to a slice to grill.

Yuki Hou, a 22-year-old student at Meiji University, demonstrated her abilities for the assembled press, telling the device that she wanted to taste chocolate.

After repeating his request several times, an automated voice read the flavor and the cans sprayed flavored liquid onto a plastic sheet.

“It’s a bit like milk chocolate,” she says. “It’s as sweet as chocolate sauce.”

A commercial version of the TTTV would cost around 100,000 yen (around £ 650) to create.

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Professor Miyashita once experimented with a portable lick screen that uses five gels that mimic the five different tastes a human tongue can recognize – salt, bittersweet, bitter, and umami – he claimed to be able to recreate all the flavors found in food.

While a person licking the device typically tasted all five distinct flavors, applying an electric current to the screen allowed them to strengthen or weaken certain taste combinations to create different flavors.

“I think this invention has the same impact as the invention of color television,” Miyashita told the website. Digital trends Last year.

“Just as television mixes the three primary colors of light to create various colors, this system mixes the five basic tastes to create a variety of tastes.

“If this system is combined with a television, it can deliver not only the look of the meal, but the taste itself,” he added.

“If the taste sensor and screen are integrated into the smartphone, it is possible to upload the taste of a delicious dish to a social network service and discover the taste on the smartphone. “

Scientists create artificial languages ​​… and more

Taste and technology make strange bedfellows, combining in fascinating and sometimes overwhelming ways.

Scientists around the world have created artificial electronic languages ​​designed to respond to flavors just like humans would.

Kiyoshi Toko, professor of information science and electrical engineering at Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan, developed a e-language which was purchased by companies reviewing foods such as soy sauce, soup, and sake for six taste qualities. By 2012, he had sold around 300 taste machines.

Others have focused on reproducing the sensation of tasting strongly flavored foods in humans.

Nimesha Ranasinghe of the University of Maine has been experimenting for several years with electrode utensils that use electrical currents to trick taste buds into believing they are tasting mashed potatoes with chopsticks, lemonade in a glass or lollipop. .

He thinks using technology to trick diners into believing they’re tasting salt or sugar without the caloric side effects of reality could help future diets. It may also help chemotherapy patients and others with taste difficulties to enjoy the food again.

“I love the food,” he said Smithsonian magazine in 2018. “But the controllability of taste is what interests and really excites me. “

Elsewhere, the technology has been used in conjunction with real-life foods to increase the sensory experience of eating – for a price. Upscale restaurants in America and Ibiza have started hosting virtual reality (VR) meals, offering diners real food while they are strapped to VR headsets, interacting with each other while on the go. a digital dinner.

Two Michelin-starred chef Paco Roncero runs a 20-course virtual reality dining experience called Sublimotion in Ibiza, charging € 1,500 per person for 12 guests at what is said to be the most expensive Michelin-starred restaurant in the world.

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