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Screen lickin' good: Japanese professor invents a ‘lickable’ device that lets you taste what you see

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Image shows a Meiji University student demonstrating a lickable TV screen called ‘Taste the TV’
Image shows a Meiji University student demonstrating a lickable TV screen called ‘Taste the TV’   -   Copyright  Reuters
By Aisling Ní Chúláin  & Reuters

Have you ever found yourself watching a cookery show or scrolling through Insta-perfect meals and thought "something is seriously missing here?"

Here to address your sensory deprivation is "Taste the TV" (TTTV), a prototype lickable TV screen that can imitate a whole host of different flavours.

You need only to tell the device what food you would like to sample and moments later a transparent film with liquid droplets slides out on top of a screen showing your chosen food.

The device, designed by Professor Homei Miyashita from Japan’s Meiji University, uses a carousel of 10 flavour canisters that spray in combination to create the taste of a particular food.

According to Miyashita, the flavours of all types of food can be broken down into 10 basic tastes such as salty, sour, sweet, bitter, spicy and savoury. The machine is programmed with "recipes" that allows it to create the taste of 20 types of food samples.

In terms of applications for his unusual invention, Miyashita envisages a platform where tastes from all over the world can be distributed as "taste content".

"It's the same as watching a movie or listening to a song that you like," he explained.

"I hope people can, in the future, download and enjoy the flavours of the food from the restaurants they fancy, regardless of where they are based in the future," Miyashita said.

For more on this story, watch the video in the media player above.

Video editor • Christophe Pitiot