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A device with thermal sensors will substitute sugar, salt and many other things

2016-11-28

It appeared that virtual reality can deceive not only eyes and ears but also our taste sensors. Meanwhile, the maximum what a user can do in VR glasses is to view not particularly realistic depiction of food. But already today people conduct researches that will allow feeling the taste of dishes as if you were really eating them.

Such technology will not help to feed empty stomachs, but can allow people to overcome their desires in case they cannot eat specific products for health reasons. For example, people suffering from diabetes will be able to sense a sweet taste without eating sugar or its substitutes. It will also help those people who just want to try exotic and expensive dishes, which they would hardly eat in real life.

The first steps in the development of such devices were made by scientists from Singapore. A device that intensifies senses has already been presented to general public – a spoon with thermal sensors. When a person touches it with his tongue, it warms up or cools down, deceiving taste sensors in such a way. With the help of the spoon you can sense sweet, salty, or sour tastes and texture, for example, stringiness or softness. 

Originally this model was developed with electrodes, but they did not reproduce a sweet taste, so they were substituted by thermal sensors.

Such a device could be used when drinking tea – you could place it in a cup to avoid adding sugar.