Technology has brought us VR, AR, and even the metaverse, but this Japanese professor wants to serve you something you’ve never seen before. This is ‘Taste the TV’ (TTTV), a device that allows you to lick a screen and taste different foods.
Professor Homei Miyashita from Meiji University built this prototype over the past year and has big ambitions for this project. Here’s how it works.
Taste the TV
It’s sort of like the lickable wallpaper from Willy Wonka, but way more intricate. The TTTV carries ten different flavour canisters that spray onto a plastic film over a screen. When the salty, sour, sweet, bitter, spicy, and savoury flavours combine in different ways, it creates different taste profiles. The screen can then show an image of the food and you will be able to lick the screen and taste the food.
The one thing that’s probably on your mind right now is probably, “Isn’t this extremely unhygienic? We’re in the middle of a pandemic”.
To answer your question, Miyashita intends for this to be a safe way to interact with the world. I wouldn’t recommend sharing this with other people, but it does take you away from crowded restaurants.
Miyashita’s ultimate goal is a ‘food streaming’ platform where you’ll be able to download tastes from around the world, all from the comfort of your own home. He says that it could be used in the future for training wine experts or cooks, or even for fun tasting games.
Since the technology is quite new, Miyashita is currently talking to companies to think of other possible applications. Another one could be to apply different tastes to actual food, like pizza spray on toast for example.
Does it actually work? I haven’t tried it personally, but the device was demonstrated to reporters. A student from Meiji University told the device that she wanted to taste sweet chocolate. After that, a computer voice repeated the order and sprayed the flavour onto the plastic. The student then said “It’s kind of like milk chocolate. It’s sweet like a chocolate sauce.”
Pricing and availability
The device is still a prototype, but Miyashita said that a commercial version of the ‘Taste the TV’ would cost about JPY 100,000 (~RM 3,666) to make.
So what do you think? Would you get this device? How do you think this technology will progress in the coming years?