Ever thought of putting your hand in cookie jar and automatically pull out whatever flavour you feel like? Well, this could turn into reality, thanks to a new technology that changes flavour of the cookie according to your taste.
While one can see, hear, and touch computer displays, little research has been done into how computers can successfully simulate taste.
Part of the problem is that taste is generated by a combination of factors working together, including vision, smell and memories.
For cookie-lovers visiting the SIGGRAPH computer graphics and animation conference in Los Angeles, Tajuki Narumi and colleagues from the University of Tokyo in Japan decided to tackle this problem with a "display" that exploits theur taste buds.
The device is worn over the user's head and can transform the taste of a plain cookie to any of seven flavours, reports the New Scientist.
It combines augmented reality technology with smells released by an air pump to trick the user's senses.
To create the effect, the team branded a plain cookie with a distinct logo that the headset tracks via a built-in camera.
An air pump sprays out the smell of the chosen cookie, increasing its concentration as the system "sees" the cookie approaching the wearer's nose.
Meanwhile, a visual display in the headset shows an image of the chosen cookie, suggesting the correct texture for that flavour.
The combination of smell and visual texture combine to fool the user's sense of taste into thinking they are eating a flavoured cookie instead of the plain one.