TastyFloats: A Contactless Food Delivery System

Vi, C. T., Marzo, A., Ablart, D., Memoli, G., Subramanian, S., Drinkwater, B. W., & Obrist, M. (2017). TastyFloats: A Contactless Food Delivery System. In Proceedings of the Interactive Surfaces and Spaces on ZZZ – ISS ’17 (pp. 161–170). New York, New York, USA: ACM Press.

http://doi.org/10.1145/3132272.3134123

Abstract

We present two realizations of TastyFloats, a novel system that uses acoustic levitation to deliver food morsels to the users’ tongue. To explore TastyFloats’ associated design framework, we first address the technical challenges to successfully levitate and deliver different types of foods on the tongue. We then conduct a user study, assessing the effect of acoustic levitation on users’ taste perception, comparing three basic taste stimuli (i.e., sweet, bitter and umami) and three volume sizes of droplets (5µL, 10µL and 20µL). Our results show that users perceive sweet and umami easily, even in minimal quantities, whereas bitter is the least detectable taste, despite its typical association with an unpleasant taste experience. Our results are a first step towards the creation of new culinary experiences and innovative gustatory interfaces.

Video

In the Press

The work was discussed on BBC’s Have I got news for you? Series 54, Episode 4 (19.40-22.41). If that’s not impact, I don’t know what is.

https://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/computing/hardware/tastyfloats-a-levitating-food-delivery-system

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5004167/Levitating-food-sweet-taste-future.html

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/don-t-scoff-flying-food-is-a-taste-of-the-future-marianna-obrist-qw2qx6x3l

https://www.thesun.co.uk/tech/4746783/scientists-create-floating-food-that-tastes-sweeter-in-mid-air/

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