You May Be Able to Taste the Internet in the Very Near Future
Imagine, your surfing your favorite go-to site on the web (cough, cough, this one) and blam-o! You’re hit in the face with a pop-up ad for mouthwash, and you can actually taste the minty chemicals.
As strange as the idea of a smell-able and taste-able internet is, it’s not entirely the stuff of April Fool’s Day jokes. Sure, Google last year had an April Fool’s Day prank with Google Nose, but there’s actually a little validity to the concept.
Take Game Skunk for instance, the start-up arrived last year at CES and wants to give gamers the option of using all five senses in their gaming experience.
GameSkunk enhances game play to its highest level. How? Now, you can use all of your senses, including your sense of smell. Missing from your game playing role is the ability to smell the action; cooking food, explosions on the battle field, crashes on the race track, and just the essence of real life as it plays out in a virtual reality setting.
In in case you thought Game Skunk was the only company out there strange enough to try and add smell to the digital landscape, there’s also Scent Sciences.
Scent Sciences is leading the development of new markets with a unique category of consumer electronics: personal scent delivery devices for consumer use in digital applications from the internet, games, movies, and TV. Scent Sciences successfully announced its first generation product, ScentScape™, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January 2011.
As bizarrely intriguing as smell-able internet is, what good is a cat GIF if you can’t taste the GIFness? Enter the University of Singapore. Scientists at the university are working on a silver electrode that will be able to reproduce the four taste sensations of sweet, salty, bitter and sour. Before you cry black sorcery, it’s actually looking like real science, and even with a moral agenda.
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.
One of the goals behind the project is to help cancer patients better taste their food and stimulate their appetite. Naturally, it’s only a matter of time before we start seeing everyone from McDonalds to porn companies (really eww, right?) utilizing this disturbing technology. Science may want only the best for humanity right now, but the YouTube comments section probably started off with good intentions, too.