A Japanese professor has created a prototype lickable TV screen that can mimic food flavors, paving the way for a multi-sensory viewing experience.
Taste the TV (TTTV) is a device that uses a carousel of 10 flavor canisters that spray in combination to create the taste of a specific food. The flavor sample is then rolled on hygienic film and placed in front of a flat TV screen for the viewer to try.
According to Meiji University professor Homei Miyashita, in the COVID-19 era, this type of technology can improve people’s connections and interactions with the outside world.
“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,” he said.
Miyashita collaborates with a group of about 30 students to create a variety of flavor-related devices, such as a fork that enhances the flavor of food. He claimed that he built the TTTV prototype himself over the course of a year and that a commercial version would cost around 100,000 yen ($875) to produce.
Distance learning for sommeliers and chefs, as well as tasting games and quizzes, are potential applications, he says.
Miyashita has also been in discussions with companies about using his spray technology in applications such as a device that can add a pizza or chocolate flavor to a slice of toasted bread.
He also hopes to create a platform where users can download and enjoy tastes from around the world, similar to how music is now.
One Meiji student demonstrated TTTV for reporters, telling the screen she wanted to taste sweet chocolate. After a few tries, an automated voice repeated the order and flavour jets spritzed a sample onto a plastic sheet.
“It’s kind of like milk chocolate,” she said. “It’s sweet like a chocolate sauce.”
This article is originally published by Reuters. Minor edits were made by the author.