If you’ve been having trouble finding the right cocktail to suite your taste, look no further than the Vockatil, a high-tech cocktail glass that relies on three layers of sensory stimulation to trick your senses into thinking that the plain water you’re sipping is the most amazing thing you’ve ever tasted.
The Vocktail – short for virtual cocktail – glass technically lets you turn water into wine, or pretty much any other drink imaginable. It accomplishes this messianic miracle through multisensory stimulation, essentially tricking your eyes, nose and taste buds that you’re consuming something completely different. The revolutionary glass comes equipped with LED lights that allow you to change the color of the drink, sliver electrodes on the rim of the glass which stimulate the tongue so that it tastes the liquid as salty, sweet or sour, and three micro air pumps equipped with flavor cartridges, which are activated when a person sips from the glass, fooling their nose into detecting a far greater variety of subtle flavors.
Photo: YouTube screengrab
The Vocktail glass was developed by Nimesha Ranasinghe, a Research Fellow at National University of Singapore, and was recently showcased at the Association for Computing Machinery Multimedia Conference, in Mountain View, California. Ranasinghe, who specializes in digital multisensory interactions, had previously created a digital lemonade using electrodes and colors, but addingsmell stimulation to the mix has opened up a whole range of flavor combinations. He now plans to add a virtual reality component as well, allowing people to enjoy their virtual cocktails in various settings.
Photo: Nimesha Ranasinghe/Twitter
“Imagine next time you order a cocktail you can customize its flavor using a mobile app, or try out entirely new flavors — for example, you order a mojito, but you want to try it with a hint of chocolate or strawberry,” Ranasinghe told Digital Trends. “Even though we call it a Virtual Cocktail, it is not only a virtual cocktail, it is mainly about augmenting the cocktail drinking experiences. So far, from our demonstrations, people love it mainly due to the presence of smell sensations. Also, it seems that having the smell sensation combine the different sensory channels — smell, taste, color, and other factors — to create a seamless flavor experience. Adding smells help the consumers to explore flavors, and experimentally create new cocktails.”
The Vocktail Glass also comes with a companion smartphone app,which allows you to quickly change the color of the drink, as well as the microamps released by the electrodes, to alter how your tongue perceives the drink – 180 microamps for a sour taste, 40 microamps for a salty taste and 80 microamps for a bitter taste.