Imagine it: A few years from now you could have a party where all your guests sit around in a circle and clip electrodes to their genitals which would allow everyone to control who feels what on their… Whoops! Wrong electrodes article! This is about tasting online, which is actually only slightly less weird.
Researchers at the National University of Singapore have developed a whatsits that you clip to your tongue that can simulate sweet, sour, salty, and bitter flavors. The tongue clip’s electrodes rapidly combine varying electrical currents and minor temperature adjustments to theoretically simulate a variety of flavors.
Vegetarians can taste wagyu beef guilt-free! Or we could try durian without having to deal with the stench. Or find out what it’s like to lick various famous people, if that’s your thing and times being what they are…
On a serious note, there’s also a healthcare component to tasting online. “People with diabetes might be able to use the taste synthesizer to simulate sweet sensations,” says lead researcher Nimesha Ranasinghe, “without harming their actual blood sugar levels.”
On a professional note, such a device might actually make it easier to write about food when you don’t know squat about food.