Life in virtual reality could soon get a whole lot tastier – now a digital simulator can transmit the taste of virtual food and drink to the tongue. This might mean that gamers and VR explorers will be able to sample something of the food appearing on their VR headset or computer screen. And maybe one day TV viewers will be able to taste the food in cookery shows— or ads— too. Signals that reproduce the four well-known major taste components – salt, sweet, sour, bitter – are transmitted through a silver electrode touching the tip of the tongue. The taste receptors are fooled by a varying alternating current and slight changes in temperature controlled by semiconductor elements that heat and cool very rapidly.

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