Scientists Develop a Way To Send Virtual Drinks Over the Internet

April 1, 2017 5:00 am

Beam me up a drink, Scotty. Thanks to researchers at the University of Singapore, the science fiction of Star Trek replicators and teleporters is now a step closer to becoming science fact.

In a groundbreaking experiment, these researchers set up a system of RGB and PH sensors to capture the color and acidity of a glass of lemonade. They then sent the code over the Internet to a special container filled with water in another location. After the data was recorded, the taste of lemonade was replicated in the water glass with an electrode that used a pulse of electricity around the rim to stimulate the drinkers’ taste buds. The lemonade color was also duplicated with special LED lights.

Nimesha Ranasinghe, head researcher on the project, told the New Scientist that his team would like to one day create complete virtual cocktails.

“People are always posting pictures of drinks on social media—what if you could upload the taste as well?” he said. “That’s the ultimate goal.”

Whether it’s used to create something naughty—like midday Bourbons in the office without the buzz or mocha lattes sans the calories—or something decidedly more straightforward, such as enhancing video games or assisting diners with dietary restrictions, the technology has many possibilities.

The system is still in development, but you can watch a test of the technology here.



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