Professor Homei Miyashita of Meiji University in Tokyo has developed a prototype lickable screen that allows users to taste what’s on their screen.
Miyashita and a team of 30 students developed the “Taste the TV” (TTTV) project over the course of the past year.
According to a video from Miyashita’s lab, the machine works by using canisters to mix and spray a combination of different flavors onto the screen. With the canisters, a wide variety of flavors can be reproduced, ranging from the complex depths of alcohol to the nuances of spicy dishes.
For sanitary reasons, the flavors are sprayed onto single-use plastic sheets which cover the screen, so users do not have to lick the actual surface of the TV. Additionally, the spray can be applied directly to food products like crackers.
The video demonstration shows multiple uses for the screen, like games and interactive applications including “taste slot machine,” “sommelier training” and a taste randomizer that creates a mix of flavors.
According to Reuters, Miyashita believes a commercial version would cost about 100,000 yen ($875) to produce. The professor hopes that the TTTV will help foster connection, especially during a time of isolation and quarantine.