Innovation That Matters

Ice cream offers a musical accompaniment with each lick

Publishing & Media

Lickestra is an art performance featuring ice cream that acts as a musical instrument when it's licked.

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Eating is about more than just the taste of the food in our mouths, and the experience can be enhanced or tainted by a whole range of factors, from atmosphere and ambience to dining partner. NY-based artist Emilie Blatz has now created Lickestra to take advantage of just that, demonstrating ice cream that acts as a musical instrument when it’s licked.

Working with fellow designer Carla Diana as well as musical group Buke and Gase, the project sees four portions of ice cream served into 3D-printed cones that are each wired up to an Arduino computer. Sensors inside the cones can detect when a tongue is making contact with the ice cream and a sound is emitted from a nearby speaker. Performers can alter the nature of the sound depending on their style of licking. The video below offers a demonstration of the strange event, performed at Manhattan’s Specials on C:

According to Diana, who spoke to Wired, the team may conduct further experiments into the field of audible food, with “sonic marzipan that could be smooshed, audible cocktails that could be sipped through conductive straws, and metal forks and spoons that would trigger tones when used to pierce food”. This kind of sensory experience is something that has previously been picked up by campaigns such as the Heinz Beanz Flavour Experience in the UK, which matched different flavors of tinned beanz with corresponding tactile bowls and musical spoons.

Although more of an art performance than a business model, there is plenty of inspiration here to encourage food marketers or restaurants to combine their products with more experiential additions to attract customers.



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