Japanese professor says COVID inspired him to invent a lickable television screen that allows viewers to taste restaurant food without leaving their house

According to a Reuters report, Professor Homi Miyashita of Meiji University has created an invention that no one knew they wanted: a lickable TV screen that would allow viewers to experience the taste of foods on their screens. The device is claimed to work by using an array of flavor cans that are sprayed together to simulate the taste of foods, and then sprayed onto a “healthy film” that is wrapped on a screen.

The device was reportedly developed by Miyashita working with a group of about 30 students who have in the past been involved in other food-related research, including a prototype fork that supposedly makes food “richer.”

Miyashita told Reuters that the inspiration for the device came to him in part as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. “The goal is to enable people to experience something like eating at a restaurant on the other side of the world, even while staying at home.”

Japan has had remarkable success in controlling the spread of the novel coronavirus, as it has experienced extremely low infection and death rates without imposing a single government shutdown. However, Japan has maintained strict border controls since the pandemic began and has moved aggressively to vaccinate large parts of its population.

Miyashita estimated that if his device were commercially produced, it would cost about $875. In addition to providing a unique viewing experience for home use, Miyashita claims that his invention may be useful for training remote chefs. According to the BBC, Miyashita is also in talks with other manufacturers about applications of flavor spray technology, including adding flavors to toast.

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