Student of Meiji University Yuki Hou licks a screen of Taste the TV (TTTV), a prototype lickable TV screen that can imitate the flavours of various foods, during its demonstration at the university in Tokyo. (Credits: REUTERS)
A Japanese professor has created a TV screen that allows people to taste food flavours when licked, to create a multi-sensory viewing experience.
Dubbed Taste the TV (TTTV), the prototype uses a carousel of 10 flavour canisters that are sprayed in specific combinations to imitate the taste of a particular food.
The device then rolls the flavour sample on hygienic film over a flat TV screen that the viewer can lick to taste.
The inventor of the TTTV, professor Homei Miyashita from Meiji University hopes that the multi-sensory TV can enhance the way people connect and interact with the outside world in the age of Covid.
‘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,’ Miyashita told Reuters.
Meiji University professor Homei Miyashita fills flavour canisters as he demonstrates Taste the TV (TTTV), a prototype lickable TV screen that can imitate the flavours of various foods. (Credits: REUTERS)
The Japanese professor also has plans to create a platform where you can download tastes from around the world, similar to how you download music.
Miyashita has also been in talks with companies about using his spray technology for applications like a device that can apply a pizza or chocolate taste to a slice of toasted bread.
One Meiji University student demonstrated TTTV for reporters, telling the screen she wanted to taste sweet chocolate. After a few tries, an automated voice repeated the order and a jet spritzed a sample onto a plastic sheet.
‘It’s kind of like milk chocolate,’ she said, tasting the sheet with her tongue. ‘It’s sweet like a chocolate sauce,’
Miyashita and his team of 30 students have produced a variety of flavour-related devices, including a fork that makes food taste richer. He said he built the TTTV prototype himself over the past year, with a commercial version available that would cost about 100,000 yen (£652) to make.
It’s unclear whether people will be open to such a technology after disinfecting and avoiding touching surfaces during the pandemic. Licking a sheet of plastic might not be appealing to most people so it remains to be seen if it will have any commercial value.