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

Photo by: Geography Photos/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

According to a Reuters report, professor Homei Miyashita of Meiji University has come up with an invention no one knew they wanted: a lickable television screen that will allow viewers to experience the taste of foods on their screen. The device purportedly works by using an array of flavor canisters that spray together in combination to simulate the taste of foods, which is then sprayed onto "hygienic film" which rolls out over the screen.

Miyashita reportedly developed the device working with a group of about 30 students that has, in the past, been involved in other food-related research, including a prototype fork that supposedly makes food "taste 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 make it possible for people to have the experience of something like eating at a restaurant on the other side of the world, even while staying at home."

Japan has experienced remarkable success at controlling the spread of the novel coronavirus, experiencing very low infection and death rates without having instituted a single governmental lockdown. Japan has, however, maintained strict border controls since the pandemic began and has aggressively moved to vaccinate large portions of their population.

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

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