A programmable cocktail glass allows users to alter the flavor of almost any beverage.
Craving a drink that is a bit more high-tech than your average martini? Well, you may be in luck. A team of researchers at the National University of Singapore, led by Nimesha Ranasinghe, have developed a programmable cocktail glass which is capable of tricking your senses into thinking that you are drinking just about anything. Named the Vocktail, the glass and specially-designed stand contain scent cartridges and micro air-pumps to provide aroma; LEDs to alter the color of the drink; and two silver electrodes on the rim of the glass which stimulate the tongue to add salty, bitter or sweet notes. The Vocktail also comes with an app that allows drinkers to fully customize their own drinks.
According to Ranasinghe, the Vocktail is designed to augment the cocktail drinking experience and allow customers to add a greater range of sensory experiences to their drinking habits. The team’s research demonstrated that the added stimuli altered the way that drinkers perceived the taste of the drinks, as well as heightened the overall experience of drinking. However, in the future the team also plans to use the Vocktail technology to create virtual reality dining, allowing people in a VR or augmented reality space to sip virtual drinks while experiencing real smell and flavor.
There have recently been a number of advancements in the field of virtual and augmented reality, including a real-world holodeck and a VR headset that uses scents. The Vocktail now holds out the promise of not only making VR more realistic, but also aiding dieters and non-drinkers to create the flavor and aroma of a cocktail using nothing but water, and sharing a unique taste sensation with a friend remotely. In what other ways could the Vocktail change eating and drinking?