No one asked for lickable TV, and yet…

It doesn’t matter to smell what’s on the screen – want to taste what you see? Probably not, but a scientist goes on anyway. ASCII and Reuters report that Meiji University professor Homei Miyashita presented Taste the TV, a set that you can lick to get a taste of what’s on screen. The prototype sends electrical signals to 10 flavor cans to create unique sprays that cover a (thankfully hygienic) film layer.

The device has been in development for a long time. Miyashita discussed the basic concept of a “flavor synthesizer” in the spring of 2020 and offered an early look at TV in October of this year.

It sounds disgusting, and people would undoubtedly give you strange looks if you French kissed your TV in the middle of a show. However, Miyashita doesn’t necessarily see this as a gimmick to add to everyday consumer screens, such as 3D TV. Instead, he envisioned lickable screens as tools for chefs and sommeliers, and even hoped to build a platform where you could download flavors like songs or videos. This can help you taste recipes from around the world while staying at home.

The technology may also be more practical than you think. The professor took about a year to build the prototype himself, and he estimated that a shipping version would cost the equivalent of $875. While you probably wouldn’t make it the centerpiece of your living room, it may be affordable enough for the culinary industry and dedicated foodies.

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