Researchers in Singapore create Vocktail, a cocktail glass turns water into wine

November 24, 2017

Researchers from the National University of Singapore’s Keio-NUS Cute (Connective Ubiquitous Technology for Embodiment) Centre have developed a cocktail glass that turns water into wine. It is called Vocktail (short for virtual cocktail).

One of the researchers gave a demonstration of the device.

“We are interested in virtual reality in general. So how can we introduce virtual beverage, and how to augment the existing flavours of beverages,” said lead researcher Nimesha Ranasinghe,

The glass sits in a 3D-printed structure holding three scent cartridges and three micro air-pumps, which release “smell molecules” that alter the drinker’s perception of the taste of the beverage.

At the same time, a light-emitting diode (LED) will flash a colour associated with the desired taste. For example, red for bitterness, blue for saltiness and green for sourness.

There are two electrode strips on the rim of the glass, which when in contact with your tongue, send electric pulses to stimulate your taste buds to mimic different tastes: 180 microamps for a sour taste, 40 microamps for a salty taste and 80 microamps for a bitter taste.

All these can be controlled by a mobile app, which allows users to create virtual flavour sensations by configuring each of the stimuli by bluetooth.

Dr Ranasinghe said going forward, the team hopes to help the elderly and people with dietary restrictions to consume fewer calories but still enjoy their food.

He noted that they will find less palatable food, like those with reduced sodium, easier to swallow.

His team had previously invented a spoon and a bowl which can simulate different tastes, but those did not come with scent cartridges and air-pumps.

The team also hopes to be able simulate the sensation of fizzy drinks, and the perceived texture of the beverage.

They are currently in discussions with companies to mass produce these products.


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