Netflix or… Netlicks ? The latest bizarre technological invention comes from Japan and is a lickable TV . Yes, you read that right: a screen capable of imitating the taste of food, bringing the experience from visual to gustatory as well. The result of years of research and more or less successful attempts to take taste to another level, the idea of a TV to enjoy has gone viral in the last few hours. The researchers behind the device said they are already in contact with smart TV makers to reproduce the invention on a large scale and make it an affordable product.
Lickable TV? Now it is reality
Taste the TV (TTTV), this is its name, was developed by Homei Miyashita , a Japanese university professor. The researcher, together with a group of 30 students, created a device capable of reproducing the taste of the food shown on the screen: just approach and lick the display to be able to "savor" the dishes played . An idea that has aroused a lot of hilarity on the web, but also a lot of curiosity: if on the one hand the jokes are not wasted, on the other hand it is interesting to understand how the lickable TV was developed and how it could be used.
But how does the TV work? The device uses containers with 10 different flavors to recreate the flavor of what is represented on the screen . The flavors are mixed to achieve the desired and sprinkled on a "lickable" film, unrolled on the TV screen. The film is disposable, and must be changed at every taste to avoid mixing the flavors and guarantee hygiene. Sweet, salty, spicy, spicy, bitter: the variations in taste and their combinations have been designed to (almost) perfectly reproduce the flavor of food.
If you are interested in buying it, know that the TTTV has not yet been commercialized yet , but it could arrive on the market at a price of 875 dollars (about 770 euros). Considering that for the moment it is a small screen and can only reproduce what it was configured for, the price is not exactly affordable. In any case, the device could undergo changes and offer new features during future developments.
The idea was born during the pandemic, has been in the works since October 2020 and materialized in the last months of 2021. In a scientific publication dedicated to lickable TV, Miyashita illustrated how the device works and its possible areas of application. For Miyashita, a device of this type is nothing new: in the past, together with his students, he had developed a fork capable of making food more appetizing.
Reproducing the taste of food and drink through a technological medium is an emerging problem of commercial and entertainment value. […] The goal is to allow people to experience, for example, eating at a restaurant on the other side of the world but staying at home.
The will is to bring the world and people closer together through food , creating a multisensory and therefore more complete connection. Not only that: thanks to this technology it will be possible to follow lessons at a distance even for cooks or sommeliers. Certainly it will not be like a taste "in person", but the TTTV has laid the foundations for excellent results. Other applications could be cooking quizzes or games where taste drives the game, or getting a taste of a dish from a restaurant menu if you are undecided about what to order.
In the future, tasting a plate of pasta could be equivalent to listening to music from your smartphone: available anywhere and without the need to prepare it yourself. But then, once you have whetted your appetite, you will still have to fix it.