Scientist invents lickable TV screen that can mimic the flavors of food


We’ve all been there – watching late night TV and an ad comes up for something that looks really drool-worthy. Maybe it’s gooey pizza, icy beer, or steaming ribs. We think “how I wish I could get my hands on it right now,” but instead we settle for a bowl of cereal or crackers and cheese.

A Japanese teacher wants to change that and has developed a prototype for a lick – yes, lickable – TV screen device which can imitate the flavors of food.

According to a Reuters report, the device is called Taste the TV (TTTV) and uses a carousel of flavor boxes that release in combination to mimic the tastes of particular foods.

A demonstrator licks the screen of Taste the TV (TTTV), a prototype searchable television screen that can mimic the flavors of various foods, during its demonstration at the University of Tokyo, Japan, December 22, 2021.

Kim Kyung Hoon / Reuters

“The goal is to allow people to experience something like eating in a restaurant halfway around the world, even while staying at home,” Homei Miyashita, a university professor, told Reuters Meiji from Tokyo, adding that it could be beneficial for people who want to interact with food around the world during the pandemic.

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Miyashita says the device would cost users around US $ 875. He has developed the prototype over the past year.

The device works by spraying the flavor of 10 cartridges onto a sheet of film that is rolled up on the TV or tablet screen, which users can lick.

According to a demonstration video, the researchers mixed various foods and used sensors to “taste” them.

The video shows other ways to use the TTTV. For example, you can add flavor to toast or crackers, or make a food taste like something else entirely.

The cans can vaporize different flavors, which blend them together to create the desired taste profile.

Homei Miyashita, a professor at Meiji University, fills boxes of flavors as he demonstrates Taste the TV (TTTV), a prototype searchable TV screen.

Meiji University professor Homei Miyashita fills boxes of flavors as he demonstrates Taste the TV (TTTV), a lickable TV screen prototype that can mimic the flavors of various foods, at the at the University of Tokyo, Japan, December 22, 2021.

Kim Kyung Hoon / Reuters

Miyashita told Reuters the device could also be useful for distance courses for cooks or sommeliers, or could be used for tasting games and quizzes.

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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 a bit like milk chocolate,” she says. “It’s as sweet as chocolate sauce.”

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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