TECH: A Japanese man created a lickable TV screen that can mimic the flavors of food.

The device, called Taste the TV (TTTV), uses a carousel of 10 fla­vor car­tridges that vapor­ize in com­bi­na­tion to cre­ate the taste of a par­tic­u­lar food. The fla­vor sam­ple then rolls onto hygien­ic film on a flat screen TV for the view­er to try out.

In the era of COVID-19, this type of tech­nol­o­gy can improve the way peo­ple con­nect and inter­act with the out­side world, said Homei Miyashita, a pro­fes­sor at Mei­ji University.

“The goal is to allow peo­ple to expe­ri­ence some­thing like eat­ing in a restau­rant halfway around the world, even while stay­ing at home,” he said.

Miyashita works with a team of around 30 stu­dents who have pro­duced a vari­ety of fla­vor-relat­ed devices, includ­ing a fork that makes food taste rich­er. He said he had built the TTTV pro­to­type him­self over the past year and that a com­mer­cial ver­sion would cost around 100,000 yen ($ 875).

Poten­tial appli­ca­tions include dis­tance learn­ing for som­me­liers and cooks, as well as tast­ing games and quizzes, he said.

Miyashita has also been in talks with com­pa­nies about using its spray tech­nol­o­gy for appli­ca­tions such as a device that can apply a piz­za or choco­late taste to a slice of toast.

He also hopes to cre­ate a plat­form where likes around the world can be down­loaded and enjoyed by users, much like music is now.

A Mei­ji stu­dent demon­strat­ed TTTV to reporters, telling reporters on screen that she want­ed to taste sweet choco­late. After a few tries, an auto­mat­ed voice repeat­ed the com­mand and jets of fla­vor sprayed a sam­ple onto a plas­tic sheet.

“It’s kind of like milk choco­late,” she said. “It’s as sweet as choco­late sauce.”

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