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Japanese professor invents TV you can taste

The special lickable technology uses flavor canisters that spray onto a hygienic film.

TOKYO, Japan — We've all been there — sitting in front of the TV and wishing we could taste what our favorite celebrity chefs were whipping up in the kitchen. 

Well, one Japanese professor may have just made it a reality.

It's called Taste the TV (TTTV) and it's being developed by Meiji University professor Homei Miyashita.

As Reuters reports, the invention works using a carousel of 10 flavor canisters that spray onto a hygienic film over a flat TV screen for viewers to taste.  The machine comes preloaded with flavor recipes that work in combination to recreate the taste of 20 different types of foods.

Miyashita told the news organization the flavor combinations channel 10 different tastes, such as salty, sour, sweet, bitter, spicy, and savory.

It's hard to imagine a machine requiring you to lick a screen in the age of COVID-19, but Miyashita says the pandemic actually inspired him to create TTTV.

"We couldn't taste the food in restaurants which are far away when we stayed at home, " he told Reuters. "I wanted to somehow make this (tasting food) a reality, so that people can experience various tastes (of food) which are far away while staying at home."

Miyashita went on to explain that he built the prototype himself over the past year and that a commercial version would cost around 100,000 yen or 875 U.S. dollars.

And the professor is already thinking about the future of TTTV. He told Reuters he could see the machine being used in distance learning for sommeliers and cooks, or for tasting games and quizzes.