This new year, all those who have promised themselves to stop drinking and knows that they might not live up to the resolution, this 'virtual cocktail' might help them to get on the right track.
Researchers at the National University of Singapore have developed the 'Vocktail' that can change the colour of a glass of water to any drink, say Mojito, just by clicking the button. The researchers achieved the feat by using a technology that manipulates the human brain into thinking that it is experiencing a particular flavour by fooling the sight, smell and taste. So basically, no harmful calories or bad effects of alcohol will be infused into one's system.
The glass's sensory components are controlled by a smartphone app and the software can control the smell, colour, taste of the drink and tricks one into believing that the person is having his favourite drink. This drink, therefore, comes with no bad consequences and the body remains healthy as you are simply having water.
How does it work? Well, these glasses have scent cartridges that are connected to micro-air pumps, which release smell molecules in the water or normal drink. These, in turn, change one's perception towards the flavour of the beverage. A lemon flavour in the water will make the person believe that he or she is having a lemon flavoured drink. The electrode strips send electric impulses to the tongue and thus manipulates the taste buds. The LED light attached to the base of the glass fools the brain.
180 microamps give a sour taste, 80 microamps are used for bitter taste and 40 microamps for salty taste.
"Our approach is to augment beverage flavour experience by overlaying external sensory stimuli. Therefore, by changing the colour of the drink, using different smells and changing the taste through electricity, we are able to simulate the flavor of a drink, without it actually changing the liquid," Nimesha Ranasinghe, lead developer of the research told DailyMail. He further states that simulating the sense externally is not convincing enough.
If one desires to get away from the bad effects of alcohol or give up alcohol completely for that matter, Vocktail is the in thing for the season.