The future of augmented reality is in pastries that can taste like other pastries.
I had always thought that virtual reality devices would someday be used to make us think we could travel to unimaginable worlds through the depths of time and space. We haven’t gotten there yet, but we’re making progress through pastry. Japanese researchers have successfully made a device that can change the flavor of a plain cookie to just about anything.
Anything cookie related, that is. Let’s say you’re down on your luck and all you can afford are plain cookies. With the Meta Cookie system, you could be eating a chocolate, almond, tea, strawberry, orange, maple, lemon, and I kid you not, even a cheese flavored cookie.
While the cookie is always the same flavor in real life, the Meta Cookie system uses “visual and olfactory information” to trick the user. It works by stamping an augmented reality marker on top of the cookie which is read by a headset that interprets the cookie with a different look than it actually has. The headset also covers the nose, and provides a smell for the user that depends on what cookie he/she wants to eat.
The term the researchers use for this phenomenon is “pseudo-gustation.” This type of trick appears to work with cookies because they can easily have the same texture and shape, but many different flavors.
Meta Cookie is cool, but I doubt a product like this would ever become more than an experiment. I think a pack of strawberry cookies is something like $4 for 100 . It doesn’t seem very cost-effective to purchase a VR helmet just so my plain cookie can pretend to be fruit flavored. If it could make a cracker taste like Fugu, I’d be sold.