Have you ever been drooling while watching a food show in the middle of the night?
It doesn't matter, here is a delicious TV where you can taste the taste while watching it.
This unique TV is called Taste the TV (TTTV) and was invented by Homei Miyashita, a professor at Meiji University in Japan.
▲ Picture from: Reuters
In simple terms, it is composed of two parts, one is a screen with a picture and a sanitary film for licking, and the other is a disc composed of 10 flavor pots, which looks like a printer's ink cartridge.
These flavor pots have basic flavors such as sour, sweet, bitter, spicy, and salty, and can also adjust the alcohol concentration, fragrance, and so on.
▲ Source of flavor. Picture from: Meiji University
Researchers measured the taste of real food and then imitated it with chemicals such as food additives. By spraying them in combination, you can imitate the taste of a particular food.
▲ Animated image produced by: Meiji University official video
When you choose a certain flavor, it will be sprayed on the sanitary film, and the film will roll on the screen, and then prepare to lick it with your tongue.
▲ The spraying and rolling process. Picture from: Meiji University
The sanitary film is disposable and can be replaced manually.
▲ Take out the film. Picture from: Meiji University
If you are not used to licking the screen (after all, no one is used to it), you can use a "disposable tray" instead.
▲ Place a disposable tray. Picture from: Meiji University
During the demonstration, a student from Meiji University told the screen that he wanted to taste sweet chocolate. After several attempts, an automatic voice repeated the command, and the sprayer sprayed the sample onto the film.
▲ Picture from: Meiji University
The student thought after the experience: "It's a bit like milk chocolate, it's as sweet as chocolate sauce."
Behind TTTV is a team of Yoshiaki Miyashita and about 30 students who built a TTTV prototype in the past year. The production cost of the commercial version of TTTV is about 100,000 yen (US$875). Yoshiaki Miyashita said:
In the COVID-19 era, this technology can enhance the way people connect and interact with the outside world. Our goal is to allow people to experience the experience of dining at a restaurant on the other side of the world at home.
▲ Taste test. Picture from: Meiji University
TTTV may also have many uses, such as smart menus to understand food taste, methods to train wine testers, taste phasic diagnostic tools…
It can also add flavor to biscuits and other snacks, just place the food on the disposable tray.
▲ Season the biscuits. Picture from: Meiji University
Imagine if TTTV is smarter and more complex. When we watch food shows or movies, we might be able to replicate the taste as it is, and realize the connection between the taste system and the screen.
▲ Picture from: Reuters
Even one day, movie theaters can install a mini version of TTTV to flavor popcorn in a way that matches the scene, and have a richer multi-sensory experience beyond sound and picture.
It is ideal to retain the interactive functions of the screen, such as voice commands, but not necessarily to lick the screen. This is still a bit of an acceptable threshold, and the taste comes from the flavor pot, which is not directly related to the screen. It can also be attached to other objects.
There is no need to lick the screen in order to lick the screen.
Miyashita Yoshiaki's team has also produced various flavor-related equipment in the past.
In 2020, they launched the "Virtual Tasty Bar" , which contains five types of gels. During the process of contact with the tongue, the particles generate electrophoresis circuits through the action of electric charges, and the subjects will "taste" the freshness, sweetness, and sourness. 5 flavors of, salty and bitter.
▲ Virtual delicious bar. Picture from: Meiji University
This device can also be fine-tuned to make the taste thicker or lighter, and produce fudge, sushi and other flavors. In addition to entertainment, "virtual delicious bars" are also used to ease the desire for high-calorie foods.
Yoshiaki Miyashita plans to develop more similar devices, such as machines that give toasted chocolate or pizza flavors, and ultimately hopes to create a platform for users to download and enjoy flavors from all over the world.
He has compared taste perception and image perception on the screen:
Just like an optical display that uses 3 basic colors to produce any color, the taste display can also synthesize and distribute the data collected by the sensor and any taste.
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