Can you taste in virtual reality?

You can participate in a virtual reality experience like VRChat, order a virtual hot dog, pick it up and look at it, but you can't try it. Soon we'll be testing the depths of virtual reality. Researchers from the National University of Singapore say that they will soon be able to offer virtual gastronomy enthusiasts a tool that will allow them to taste the dish that appears on the screen. They base the device on rapid temperature changes at the tip of the tongue, which, according to the researchers, virtually restore the taste of sweet foods.

Many older people lose their sense of taste and prefer stronger flavors, but adding too much salt can contribute to health problems, such as high blood pressure. Now, a team from Carnegie Mellon University, a private institution in Pittsburgh, USA. In the US, it has made it possible for users to feel the virtual world inside and outside their mouths, without making physical contact. The startup OVR Technology is incorporating smell into virtual reality and using it in a new program designed to allow people to experience the effects of climate change.

Previously, researchers had tried to include the lower half of the face in the virtual reality space by creating “a small robotic arm that could pass a pen over the lips or spray them with water,” Tech Crunch reported. Researcher Herschel Sonar says that the next step will be to develop a fully portable prototype for rehabilitation and augmented virtual reality applications. They designed the mask to offer users a touch of virtual and augmented reality feedback that feels natural without the use of electronic vibrations. When a user interacts with an object in virtual reality connected to one of those scents, for example, a rose, a small electrical charge releases the corresponding fragrance.

Experiments with “virtual food” use electronic devices to emulate the taste and feel of real food, even when there is nothing in the mouth. This technology could add new sensory stimuli to virtual reality or increase real-world dining experiences, especially for people with restricted diets or health problems that affect their ability to eat. The combination of these inventions can allow for a very interesting virtual dining experience for the next few years, and visiting the world of virtual reality will be much more pleasant. In recent weeks, Facebook has been studying how to incorporate the use of the hands as a controller for the Oculus Quest virtual reality glasses.

Nimesha Ranasinghe, from the National University of Singapore, has already experimented with a “digital” lollipop to emulate different flavors and with a spoon with embedded electrodes that amplify the salty, sour or bitter taste of the real food that is eaten from it. The new portable skin allows you to touch and feel things in virtual reality, the new technology feels natural without electronic vibrations. Scientists at the Swiss Institute of Technology in Lausanne have invented ultra-thin skin that can be distorted and adapt to body movement. Virtual reality researchers have managed to recreate the sensation of touch in and around the user's mouth without the need to place any additional device on the user's face, which makes the experience much more attractive than before.

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