Seeing food or drinks being shown on a screen is obviously very different compared to tasting it, but there is that saying where we should eat with our eyes first. That being said, wouldn’t it be great if what you could taste what you saw on screen, like in a YouTube video? The good news is that you might soon be able to do just that.
Thanks to a group of researchers over at the National University of Singapore, they have come up with a way that lets you taste virtual lemonade (they tested it with lemonade for now, but who knows what else they might work with in the future?). How this is achieved is with a system of sensors and electrodes that allow the color and sourness that one might expect from lemonade to be replicated inside a tumbler of water, with the idea being that it will allow users to share sensory experiences over the internet.
Now this doesn’t actually change the tumbler of water into lemonade, but rather the electrodes are meant to stimulate the drinker’s taste buds using pulses of electricity, with LEDs helping to replicate the color of the drink. At the end of the day you are ultimately still drinking water, but perhaps you can at least share in the experience of how sour the drink is.
It seems like a novel idea and and at the moment, the team is working on adding other functions like creating a full virtual cocktail complete with smell, taste, and sight.