Virtual reality: tasting the future?

Our recent work with Purina’s Felix brand saw us use VR technology to give people a chance to experience life as Felix the cat (you can learn more about this experience here).

There’s a wealth of opportunity to tie VR into activations to evoke emotions and appeal to the senses, but a sense we haven’t played to before is taste.

Students at the University of Singapore are experimenting with thermal simulation, where changes in temperature mimic sensations on the tongue such as sweetness. Participants place the tip of their tongue on thermoelectric elements that can be cooled or heated rapidly, appealing to neurons that normally contribute to taste.

Things don’t stop there; texture is another aspect of the overall taste sense. Using electricity, a research team at the University of Tokyo have been able to simulate the experience of chewing food with different textures, using electrodes placed on the jaw over a muscle used for chewing.

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