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Simulator Recreates Virtual Taste Online


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Components of the digital taste experimental simulator.

A team at the National University of Singapore has created a simulator that can recreate the tastes of virtual food and beverages through non-invasive electrical and thermal stimulation of the tongue.

Credit: National University of Singapore

Online tasting could become another staple for people who live the digital life.

A team at the National University of Singapore has created a simulator that can recreate the taste of virtual food and beverages using non-invasive electrical and thermal stimulation of the tongue. The device generates signals transmitted through a silver electrode touching the tip of the tongue to produce salty, sweet, sour, and bitter sensations. Different levels of electrical currents can be combined and the temperature of the electrode can be varied to reproduce the taste simulations.

The researchers say the project includes studying the electronic simulation and control of taste sensations enabled via the Digital Taste Interface against the properties of current and change in temperature; a technique to actuate taste sensations by electrical and thermal stimulation methods; and a practical solution to deploy virtual taste interactions in interactive computing systems.

The researchers have developed a taste-over-Internet protocol for taste messaging, a data format that facilitates the delivery of information for recreating the different tastes via the electrode. They say game designers could be early adopters of the simulator, and note a healthcare application would enable diabetics to receive a sweet reward that does not affect blood sugar levels.

From National University of Singapore
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