During the pandemic, we all learnt the art of virtual interaction. As people stayed and worked from home to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus - our real lives extended to the virtual screen. From Zoom calls to virtual dance classes, we have done it all. Binge-watching television shows on repeat were also among our favourite ways to relax while staying at home. But can you imagine if the food you saw on television could actually be tasted through your tastebuds as well? A Japanese professor has invented a prototype lickable television screen that will be able to contribute to a multi-sensory viewing experience.
Professor Homei Miyashita from Meiji University in Japan is the brains behind this one-of-a-kind project. In May 2020, he was in the news for creating a digital handheld device that could create all kinds of taste sensations when you would lick its tip. And now, he has created a new device that can imitate the flavours of food.
'Taste the TV' or TTTV is the name of the unique device which can create the taste of a particular food. The way it functions is that it uses a combination of 10 flavour canisters to recreate the flavours offered by the dish on your screen. This flavour sample then rolls out on a hygienic film over the flat-screen TV for the viewer to try.
Professor Miyashita has developed this technology over the past one year with a team of about 30 students. They have together produced a variety of devices related to flavours, including the TTTV. The Japanese professor says that a commercial version of the TTTV device would cost about USD 875 or INR 65,700 approximately.
The device could potentially be used to impart distance learning to chefs and sommeliers, as well as interactive quizzes and games involving food. It would also be useful in the post-COVID era, as people could taste restaurant food from the comfort of their own homes and television screens.
Twitter users reacted to the news:
"The goal is to make it possible for people to have the experience of something like eating at a restaurant on the other side of the world, even while staying at home," Miyashita said.
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