Computer-generated culinary delights
By Michelle Hammond
Do you remember that scene from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when Violet Beauregarde is treated to a type of gum that allows you to taste whatever it is you’re craving?
It seems fantasy has become reality, with the unveiling of a flavour-changing cookie at the SIGGRAPH computer graphics and animation conference in Los Angeles.
In the past, there has been little research into how computers can successfully simulate taste. Part of the problem is that taste is generated by a combination of factors working together, including vision, smell and memories.
Academics at The University of Tokyo decided to tackle this problem with a “display” that exploits several senses, using a cookie as their subject matter.
The device is worn over the user’s head and can transform the taste of a plain cookie to any of seven flavours.
It combines augmented reality technology with smells released by a pump to trick the user’s senses.
If you’re a tech-savvy entrepreneur with a taste for bold ideas, this could be the start-up that takes the world by storm; computer-generated food experiences.
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