Scientists Have Developed A Way For Us To Taste The Internet

Turns out the web tastes salty, sweet, sour, and bitter.

If you could lick the Internet, what would it taste like? Researchers at the National University of Singapore have developed a simulator that uses electrodes to fool taste receptors by reproducing salty, sweet, sour, and bitter sensations.


Digital Taste Interface works using alternating currents and electrodes to control temperature. “Simulating food is one of the future directions of this technology,” Dr. Nimesha Ranasinghe told the Telegraph. Could this be the future of cooking shows? Instead of just salivating in front of a screen, viewers could sample the end product. The technology could also play a role in video games, rewarding and punishing players with a blast of sweetness or a lingering bitterness. Date night for couples in long-distance relationships could involve sharing meals over the Internet.

Ranasinghe and his team have also been working on a digital lollipop–one that tastes as sweet as the real thing, but without the cavities or calories–and a project that transmits tastes over digital communication.

About the author

Based in San Francisco, Alice Truong is Fast Company's West Coast correspondent. She previously reported in Chicago, Washington D.C., New York and most recently Hong Kong, where she (left her heart and) worked as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.