Taste your favourite food, online!

Are you tired of 24-hour online viewing or listening? It’s time to satisfy your taste buds in the virtual world. If we believe the scientists, digital devices could recreate the flavor of food and drinks in virtual reality through non-invasive electrical and thermal stimulation on the tongue. A team headed by Nimesha Ranasinghe, a scientist of Sri Lankan origin at the Keio-NUS Cute Centre in Singapore, has developed a simulator that allows you to try your favorite food online. It’s free, literally. “This simulator generates signals transmitted through a silver electrode, touching the tip of the tongue, to produce salty, sweet, sour, and bitter sensations. By combining different levels of electrical currents and varying the temperature of the electrode, simulation of the tastes can be reproduced,” said Ranasinghe in a press release published by the National University of Singapore.

The team of researchers has created a taste-over-Internet protocol to communicate with taste. A data format that allows for transmitting information about recreating diverse tastes through an electrode. However, the four primary flavors are only a tiny aspect of the flavor combination. According to the press release, the researchers want to incorporate aroma and texture to play essential functions in a genuinely delicious experience. Researchers reported sour, bitter, and salty sensations resulting from electrical stimulation to accomplish this.

Meanwhile, minty, sweet, spicy, and sour trends were observed via thermal stimulation in two distinct groups. The group that had thermal stimulation only experienced minor sensations that required further research to increase the intensity of the tastes. “This work has three novel aspects – the studying of the electronic simulation and control of taste sensations achievable through Digital Taste Interface against the properties of current and change in temperature; the method of actuating taste sensations by electrical and thermal stimulation methods, either individually or in combination; and the aim of introducing a practical solution to implement virtual taste interactions in interactive computing systems,” stated the release. The simulator is also a good option for those who have health issues. For example, people with diabetes can utilize the device to get the pleasure of a sweet taste without impacting their blood sugar level. Cancer patients might be able to boost their sense of life when they undergo chemotherapy by using the electrode, as per the study.

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