You can now send drinks over the internet

Yup, you read that title right. You can now send drinks over the internet from one user to another. When I saw a video of this technology on Facebook, I did not believe it. I thought it was an early April Fools day prank or some weird fake news article. So I did what anyone in my situation might do, I ignored it. Then a few hours later it once again appeared on my Facebook feed as more friends had posted it. I decided to look into this apparent technology and see if there was any truth behind it.

 

I soon found out that it is in fact a new developing technology that is still in its pilot stages. It was created by some researchers at the National University of Singapore. However, it does work to some degree. Currently this has been tested with lemonade and while users can tell a difference, they still enjoy the taste of the fake lemonade. A user puts a sensor into their drink, which records the color of the liquid and the PH levels. The information is then sent to a cup that has sensors and LED lights in it. This cup that is full of technology is also full of water. The LED lights recreate the color that the original drink was. Some of the sensors create an electric stimulation that helps to match the sourness of the drink.

3EB01B7700000578-0-image-m-115_1490654412784.jpg3EB01B7B00000578-0-image-m-116_1490654426451-2.jpg3EB01B7F00000578-0-image-m-117_1490654486243.jpg

Right now it seems as though lemonade is really the only drink being tested for this specific product. But there is hope that one day alcoholic beverages could also be used in this manner. That means you could get the taste of your favorite drink without the calories or the feeling of being drunk.

 

I really wonder if this will be a popular trend in the future. As the nervous person that I am, I would be extremely cautious of the sensors and electric stimulation that is occur to what I am about to intake. I’m no science major but I can’t imagine that would be healthy for you. Maybe once or twice it would be okay but excessive use of this electronic cup just seems like it would cause harm. On top of that I do not understand the sending part of this. Are people that close to their friends that they have to constantly be drinking close to the same thing? I could see it more for a way to not consume calories or fatty ingredients and still get a similar taste. I never imagine myself saying “This drink is so good I need to send a fake version to my friend across the country right now”.

 

I assume that if this cup and technology does become a thing, then an app will go along with it. It could be more interesting to me if you could send people invitations to certain drinks you have had and want their opinion on. Or if it was like a snapchat. Try this flavor for 10 seconds and then it disappears forever. I think that a social component would be needed in order for this creation to survive.

 

Other similar products have been appearing that also come along with a virtual component. One of these companies is called Project Nourished. If you go on their website, it looks like some out of the future product/ world where robots are in charge. There product is similar to this cup that allows one to send drinks over the internet but its more of a virtual reality.   Instead of just impacting one’s taste, this company uses their products to create a new world. To get the full experience, one must be using all six products. The first is an aromatic diffuser which creates a smell of various foods using ultrasonic heat. The user must have the virtual reality headset ,which can place them in whichever setting they want to be in, most likely a fancy restaurant. The user is also wearing a Bone Conduction transducer, which mimics the chewing sounds that is normally transmitted when one eats food. For utensils we have the gyroscopic utensil, which allows movement of the diner to actually happen in the virtual reality as it is happening in real life. The virtual cocktail glass has built in sensors, which actually allows one to feel as though they are intoxicated. Last but definitely not least, we have the 3D printed food. This serves as a way for the diner to get a fake taste, texture and consistency. It is low in calories so one does not have to worry about excess of calorie intake in this virtual meal.

a1.png

On the website it lists multiple reasons for why one would use this technology. These reasons range from weight loss to alternate reality dining to elder care. One of the reasons is kids eating to create healthy eating choices. Why don’t people just feed their kids healthy foods in a fun way to help create these healthy eating habits? Wouldn’t having your kid constantly in a virtual reality at food time create more unhealthy habits?

Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 10.51.20 PM.png

The reason that I can most get behind on their website is elder and disability care. While my nana would never know how to use this technology, I feel as though she would enjoy it if she could use it. She is often on a soft food diet so can not enjoy those tasty chewy foods that she used to love. So I think this could be a great way to help those who can no longer eat solid foods still enjoy an experience of it.

Maybe I am naïve and these technologies are the next big thing. I for one will be sticking with my real food and drinks for now!

 

8 comments

  1. ItsUlker · ·

    Awesome post, I had no idea these technologies existed and loved learning about them! My initial reaction to these was “wow, this is crazy, I love it!”. On second thought, while it seems like a very cool idea “from the future”, I have some doubts about its application in real life, both with drinks and food. First, just like with any VR experience, there is a need for additional equipment that is often bulky and not very suitable for prolonged periods of use. In the case of Project Nourished, they require 6 different devices – personally, as much I would love to try it, the need to get all those specific devices would turn me off. Second, I have some doubts about the value of these experiences. I can see how such technology can potentially allow one to experience new things or exotic foods without the cost associated with trying the actual thing. And while you mentioned some possible applications like being able to enjoy your favorite drinks or food without limitations and worrying about calories, I wonder if it will be enough for a widespread adoption of these technologies.

  2. erinfitzpatrick123 · ·

    This is very interesting. When I read your title, I thought this was going to be more along the lines of sending someone a drink at a bar, and maybe the bartender saying “this is from erin” even if I wasn’t there. But this takes it way beyond what I had expected. As for the sensors and LED lights, I also wouldn’t feel comfortable or safe drinking something like this. But, over time, we have all adjusted to new technologies that the people before us thought were crazy or unsafe. It will be very interesting to see where this idea goes and how it could be used for consumers rather than for maybe businesses.

  3. stuff like this freaks me out because it just seems like the future is right now. I know the development of this technology is merely at the point of imitating human senses right now, but based on how rapidly this has all happened, they are soon going to surpass or at least sustain them. As you mentioned, I see much more potential in this technology in the realms of health and disability care that could repair what our bodies may lose and enhance the senses we use less frequently.

  4. Really cool post! Project Nourished seems super neat and useful, but the virtual lemonade device really confuses me – how will this actually be useful?? Is sharing a drink really that much of a social experience that people would want to have fake drinks over webcams? It just doesn’t make sense to me! Honestly, I’m starting to think that these NowThis videos tend to look for technologies that are absurd or eyecatching instead of those that are actually useful. However, I had never considered VR’s applications for food and drinks, and as you mentioned there really are many exciting possibilities. Looking forward to eating my first VR cheeseburger, whatever that might taste like!

  5. duffyfallon · ·

    Very interesting post – I’ve never seen or heard of this kind of technology before. It’s very science fiction-esque. I see the vision behind these technologies and think the concepts are awesome – but I question their viability in the market. The first thing that comes to mind for me is how well these technologies work – do they actually taste good? If the ‘food’ doesn’t taste good, I don’t think people would bother with the technology. I also can get behind the use-case for elder and disability care – it would be an interesting experiment to see how receptive the elderly would be to this futuristic experience. Maybe these technologies could be the next big thing 10-20 years down the road, but even then I think I’ll be sticking with real food and drinks.

  6. drewsimenson · ·

    This has a long way to go, but I think what we all want to see is being able to send all manner of food and drink to one another through the internet. Perhaps this will take the form of 3-D printing? If I could get a nice burger 3-D printed at home, I don’t know if I’d ever leave the house! Great post!

  7. Im with you and I’m a bit skeptical about this process. I think a more plausible version may be in the future if 3d printing allows printing of foodstuffs. It prints a base of soy or other generic food, then can mix and match flavoring and coloring ingredients. who knows what the future will bring?

  8. mikeward7 · ·

    This is a great post, I completely agree with your skepticism on this as well. I think it will be funny to see if this actually becomes a prominent thing but I highly doubt it considering people are generally concerned with what they put in their bodies. If it did become huge, I could see this adding to the fact that people cant communicate face to face with people as well as we used to and it could lead to guys sending girls drinks at a bar through this app rather than going up and talking to them!

%d bloggers like this: