Culinary delights have always been an integral part of us humans. We don’t eat just because it is a physiological process required for the body to function. Rather, it is more of a luxury that we indulge in.
We love tasting food that has the ability to transport us to different places in time – like homemade baked chocolate chip cookies and Turkey remind us of the lights of Christmas and Thanksgiving whereas the smell of some old fashioned Bengali food reminds us of the Durga Puja festivities in the air.
We love eating the kind of food that appeals to all our senses, beginning from the aroma to the way it is represented and finally to the way it gives an umami flavor, leaving us wanting more.
Food has a body of its own. It can be a comforting hug on your worst days but also a great friend in case of celebration.
I’m sure a lot of you are familiar with Masterchef, doesn’t your mouth salivate when you look at the delicious spread? Well, with the rapid advancement of technology, we now have a TV that has a lickable screen and provides almost the same flavor of the food shown on screen when licked.
Lickable TV – A Japanese Invention
A prototype lickable TV in Japan imitates the food on screen and allows people to taste what they see on TV. University Professor Homei Miyashita of Meiji University developed this prototype and named it “Taste The TV.”
In an interview the Professor said,
“Normally televisions show videos and speakers are set inside so the sound comes out together in sync with the images. Video and sound are combined together and delivered to the audience through their televisions. By adding taste to this, you can deliver the taste together too. I designed it so when you lick the screen directly, you can actually taste the food that is being displayed on the screen.”
If made commercially, “Taste The TV” is estimated to cost around $875 to make. According to reports, Miyashita has been in conversation with manufacturers about other possible applications of the lickable TV, such as adding a more versatile range of flavors like toast.
How Does The TV Work?
The TV uses a carousel of 10 flavor canisters that spray a combination to create the taste of a particular food onto a hygienic film which then rolls onto a flat TV screen for the audience to taste.
The flavor of food can be broken down into several tastes such as salty, sour and sweet. The machine is programmed with recipes allowing it to replicate the taste of 20 different kinds of food.
For example, a demonstration was carried out to see whether it actually worked or not. Meiji University student Yuki Hou, told the machine that she wanted to taste sweet chocolate. After a few tries, the flavor canisters squirted a sample onto the plastic sheet attached to the screen.
She said, “It’s kind of like milk chocolate.”
Inspiration Behind Such An Idea
Professor Miyashita believes that this technology can enhance the way people connect and interact with the outside world during the Covid-19 Pandemic.
According to him,
“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.”
Professor Miyashita also commented, “Potential applications of this technology include distance learning for sommeliers and cooks especially during the pandemic, and tasting games and quizzes.”
Apart from creating this flavorful “Taste The TV,” Professor Miyashita works with a team of about 30 students that has produced a range of devices related to taste including “a fork that makes food taste richer.”
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This post is tagged under advancing technology, food, Japanese innovation, Japanese Professor, lickable TV screen, TV imitates food on screen