Taste the television: Japan professor develops lickable screen prototype


A Japanese professor has developed a prototype of a lickable television screen that can mimic food flavors, another step towards a multi-sensory viewing experience.

The device, called Taste the TV (TTTV), uses a carousel of 10 aroma canisters that spray in combination to create the flavor of a particular food. Then the taste test rolls on hygienic foil over a flat screen so that the viewer can try it.

In the COVID-19 era, this type of technology can improve the way people connect and interact with the outside world, said Homei Miyashita, a professor at Meiji University.

“The aim is to give people the experience of eating in a restaurant on the other side of the world, even if they stay at home,” he said.

Miyashita works with a team of about 30 students who have made a variety of taste-related devices, including a fork that makes food richer. He said he built the TTTV prototype himself last year and that a commercial version would cost around JPY 100,000 (about Rs 65,810).

Potential uses include distance learning for sommeliers and chefs, as well as tasting games and quizzes, he said.

Miyashita has also had discussions with companies about using its spray technology for applications like a device that can add a pizza or chocolate flavor to a slice of toasted bread.

Yuki Hou, 22-year-old Meiji student, demonstrated TTTV to reporters and told the screen that she wanted to try sweet chocolate. After a few tries, an automated voice repeated the order and taste nozzles sprayed a sample onto a plastic sheet.

“It’s a bit like milk chocolate,” she said. “It’s sweet like a chocolate sauce.”

© Thomson Reuters 2021


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