This machine lets you taste flavours without actually eating anything

A handy contraption for those who want to snack without putting on the calories…
Homei Miyashita (Meiji University (YouTube)

It’s a pretty shameful feeling when we abandon our diet to indulge that inner snacking monster.

All that hard work undone by a moment of weakness. The guilt is real.

But maybe that won’t be such a problem anymore, if Homei Miyashita’s machine becomes mainstream.

The Japanese inventor has come up with a gadget that lets users put their tongue on a bit of rubber and taste particular flavours… without actually eating anything.

Miyashita’s invention is based on the same principle of how we digest information from digital screens.

Our eyes can see red, blue and green, whilst our tongues are able to detect salty, acidic, bitter, unami and sweet flavours. A computer screen will combine red, blue and green colours to create something new entirely, and Miyashita found you can get the tongue to respond in a similar way.

The Norimaki Synthesizer uses five colour-coded gels (each containing an element/compound that mimics a flavour e.g. citric acid for acidic) which trigger particular tastes when they touch the tongue.

The user can experiences all five tastes at once by pressing the whole device against their tongue, but specific flavours can be created by ramping up the intensities of the gels.

During the test phase, the Norimaki Synthesizer has managed to let users taste candy and sushi.

As Gizmodo have commented, the device is too large to be distributed in its current format, but could be reduced to the size of an e-cigarette in the future.

Imagine that – having a device that you carry around in your pocket that lets you taste whatever you like, whenever you like….

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