Send Your Friends A Virtual Lemonade
Science & Tech / /
When the technology sends you a digital lemon, share it online with your friends as digital lemonade.
A team of scientists from the National University of Singapore made a successful attempt to trick the senses into thinking that they are consuming lemonade by using electric impulse, LED lights and a glass of regular water.
“People are always posting pictures of drinks on social media – what if you could upload the taste as well? That’s the ultimate goal,” says Nimesha Ranasinghe at the National University of Singapore.
Their ambition is to make it possible for people to virtually share drinks through the Internet. Therefore all the tasty looking and beautifully decorated cocktails shared on the social networks could be accessible to our sensory experience at home, without consuming any calories or damaging our teeth.
“We’re working on a full virtual cocktail with smell, taste and colour all covered. We want to be able to create any drink,” says Ranasinghe.
A system of sensors and electrodes that was developed by the team of Singapore researchers can digitally transmit the basic color and sourness of a glass of lemonade to a glass of water, making it look and taste much differently than a pure water.
As New Scientist reports, Ranasinghe and his co-workers used a pH sensor that captured the level of acidity of the fresh glass of lemonade and a RGB color sensor to capture the original color. This data was then sent to a special glass in another location that was filled with water. An electrode around the rim of the glass mimicked the sourness of the lemonade by stimulating the drinker’s tongue with a pulse of electricity, LED lights on the other side replicated the color.
To test the effectiveness of the digital lemonade, the team got 13 volunteers to taste real and virtual lemonades, not knowing which was which. The lemonades came in three colors: yellow, green and cloudy white and the volunteers were asked to taste and than to rate each lemonade on the base of how it looked and how it tested. For that purpose they were trained to rest their tongue on the rim of the glass while drinking, so they would get the stimulus from the electrodes.
The average results showed that the people rated the real lemonade as sourer than the virtual one. However, they perceived the virtual cloudy lemonade as sourer based on its color, probably because of the brightness of the LED lights.
Sourse: New Scientist