The technology, which DOCOMO believes is the world’s first of its kind, comprises a sensing device that detects data on a person’s perception of taste, a human-augmentation platform that shares the taste by taking into account individual differences in sensitivity, and a “driving” device that reproduces the taste for enjoyment by others.
Specifically, after a specific taste is analyzed and quantified, a proprietary algorithm on the human-augmentation platform estimates how the first person perceived the taste using approximately 25 data points, and then the taste is reproduced using the driving device for sharing with others.
The driving device reproduces the five basic tastes (sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami) using 20 types of base liquids. For related tastes, it uses a base solution.4 As a result, tastes that are difficult to convey in words can be shared more clearly with others.
The technology is expected to be used in virtual experiences in the metaverse space, which until now has been a purely visual and auditory world, as well as in combination with film and animation. The inclusion of taste expressions will enable users to enjoy extra-rich content and experiences with an unprecedented sense of presence.
Going forward, DOCOMO, Miyashita Laboratory and H2L will develop solutions for sharing taste perceptions based on their new technology, aiming to create new communication culture and providing new value for enhanced quality of life.
This technology will be introduced during the “docomo Open House ’24” online event beginning on January 17.
- Converts tastes into shareable data by analyzing and quantifying tastes using a sensing device on the human-augmentation platform.
- Estimates a person’s sensitivity and converts it into data using a proprietary algorithm on the human-augmentation platform, which uses approximately 25 data points related to a person’s perception of specific tastes.
- Based on the data obtained in steps (1) and (2), mines the tastes to be shared according to the first person’s specific perceptions.
- Reproduces the tastes to be shared by reproducing the five basic tastes (sweetness, sourness, saltiness, bitterness, and umami), using an actuator device to mix combinations of up to 20 base liquids.
In the coming 6G era, when mobile networks will be capable of high data-rate communication exceeding 100Gbps with extremely low latency and massive connectivity, the new technology will be used in metaverse spaces as well as in combination with movies, animations and other content for completely new types of communication, which will enable service providers to offer highly immerse content that users will enjoy through highly rich and realistic experiences.
Case 1: Metaverse
Deployment of the technology in metaverse spaces will enable people to enjoy virtual food and beverages, adding the senses of taste to conventional visual and auditory senses. For example, users will be able to gather with friends to enjoy coffee in a virtual cafe or food in a digital space.
Case 2: Movies and animations
Experiences that conventionally can only be seen and heard in movies will be enjoyed in a whole new dimension. For example, an unusual meal being eaten in the ancient or futuristic setting of a movie will be shared with the audience by reproducing the tastes intended by the director, allowing people to enjoy a richer and more immersive experience.