Tastyfloats: A contactless food delivery system

CT Vi, A Marzo, D Ablart, G Memoli, Sriram Subramanian, B Drinkwater, Marianna Obrist
in 2017 ACM International Conference on Interactive Surfaces and Spaces, ISS 2017, Conference paper (text)


© 2017 Association for Computing Machinery. We present two realizations of TastyFloats, a novel system that uses acoustic levitation to deliver food morsels to the users' tongue. To explore TastyFloats' associated design framework, we first address the technical challenges to successfully levitate and deliver different types of foods on the tongue. We then conduct a user study, assessing the effect of acoustic levitation on users' taste perception, comparing three basic taste stimuli (i.e., sweet, bitter and umami) and three volume sizes of droplets (5µL, 10µL and 20µL). Our results show that users perceive sweet and umami easily, even in minimal quantities, whereas bitter is the least detectable taste, despite its typical association with an unpleasant taste experience. Our results are a first step towards the creation of new culinary experiences and innovative gustatory interfaces.