Science Museum Exhibition – Cravings: Can your food control you?

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Find out how the food you eat affects your body, brain and eating-habits. See our electric taste interface exhibited in the Cravings exhibition at London’s Science Museum! Free Entry.

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What drives your desires for the foods you love? Is it the colour of your spoon, the food your mum ate while pregnant, the trillions of bacteria that dine with you, or the little known ‘second brain’ in your gut?

From the flavours you learned to love in the womb, to the very next bite you take, your appetite has been shaped by food. Through personal stories, fascinating objects and cutting-edge science and technology, explore how food affects your body, brain and eating habits.

Visit Cravings in our Antenna gallery to:

  • See an artificial gut whirring away.
  • Take part in a real experiment on flavour perception.
  • Touch some 3D-printed mice, sniff a scientific smell kit, and ‘chew’ some ‘bread’ in our interactive displays.
  • Play Craving Commander and express your opinion on how we can get raging cravings under control. Should we ban cake except on birthdays? Use smart refrigerators that police what we eat? You decide in this fast-paced game.
  • Discover unconventional dining utensils designed by scientists and chefs to trick our sense of taste.
  • Find out if scientists think we ‘eat with our eyes’ and if we can be ‘addicted’ to food.

 

http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/visitmuseum/Plan_your_visit/exhibitions/cravings.aspx

Interview in daily BERRIA, The Basque Country

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2015-03-11 / Edu Lartzanguren

Jana konposatu eta inprimatuko dugu

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Etorkizuneko janaz eta janaren etorkizunaz mintzatu da ‘gerologo’ australiarra Basque Culinary Centerren. Zapore sintetizadoreekin, inoiz probatu gabekoak dastatuko ditu aurki gizakiak, dioenez.

Gailuen eta gizakien arteko harremanen guru bat da Adrian David Cheok (Adelaide, Australia, 1971). Nonahiko Informatika irakasten du Londresko City Unibertsitatean, hau da, gizakiek ordenagailuekin zelako harremana izango duten makinok bizitzako zokorik bazterrenetara ere heltzen direnean. Sukaldaritzaz mintzatu da Basque Culinary Centerren, Donostian, Sukaldeko solasaldiak ekitaldian.

Internet bidez, zaporeak eta usainak zabaltzeko garatu dituzun gailuak erakutsi dituzu. Ziur zaude jendeak gauzak usaindu nahi dituela Internetez edo telefonoz?

Jendeak ikusten du gero eta gehiago komunikatzen garela Internet bidez, baina konturatzen dira oraindik oso zaila dela zure benetako bizipenak eta emozioak komunikatzea. Laster, bost zentzumenak erabiliko ditugu Internet bidez: elkar besarkatuko dugu, ukituko, usainduko. Elkarrekin bazkaldu ahalko dugu Internet bidez. Telepresentzia mota berria izango da. Gure ikerketen arabera, jendeak erreakzio positiboagoa du, telefonoan, irudiaz gain, ikusten duenaren usaina jasotzen duenean. Gaur, janaren irudiak dira bigarren kategoria nagusia Instagramen. Zaporea eta usaina bidaltzerik dutenean, sekulako merkatua egongo da hor.

Duela 30 urte 2015. urterako norberak bere helikopteroa izango zuela esaten zuten. Ez al zaio berdin gertatuko zuk iragarri duzun etorkizunari?

Gustu sorgailu elektronikoa hemen dago. Prototipoa da, baina primeran dabil. Zure mingaineko gustu hargailuak zuzenean kitzikatzen ditu, eta gozoa zein gazia burmuinean sortzen dizkizu, gai kimikorik gabe, digitalki. Zaporeak bidal ditzakezu Internetez, gaur musika eta irudiak bidaltzen dituzun bezala. Era berean, usaimena zuzenean kitzikatzeko eremu magnetikoak erabili nahi ditugu. Japonian eta AEBetan salgai daude jada usain mezuak bidaltzeko gailu hauek [telefonoan bidali usaina tekla sakatu du, eta lore usaina zabaldu da]. Oskar Mayer haragi etxearekin iratzargailu hau egin genuen: hirugiharrak zartaginean frijitzean egiten duen zaratarekin eta botatzen duen usainarekin esnatzen zaitu [sakatu du: hirugihar lurrina hedatu da].

Zure familiak zerikusia du garatzen ari zaren teknologiarekin?

Bai. Erdi malaysiarra naiz eta erdi greziarra. Familia dut Malaysian, Grezian eta Australian. Ezinezkoa zait denekin fisikoki elkartzea, baina, honekin, Gabonetako afari birtual bat izan ahalko dugu, eta janaren usaina zein gustua partekatu munduan sakabanatuta egonda ere. Interneten hurrengo fasean, bizipenak partekatzea izango da garrantzitsuena.

Gaur musikarako sintetizadoreak dauden bezala, jana edo zaporeak digitalki sortuko direla diozu. Baina benetan jan ahalko ditugu?

Bai. CDak sortu zituztenean jendeak uste zuen Beethovenen 9. Sinfonia orkestra etxean balego bezala entzuteko zela bakarrik. Baina, musika digital egin zenean, konposatzeko modua bera ere aldatu egin zen, eta genero berriak sortu ziren. Gustua eta usaina digitalizatzen ditugunean, jendeak hasieran esango du: «Hara, txokolate tarta baten zaporea bidali ahalko dut». Baina benetako iraultza izango da hasiko garela bestelako jana programatzen eta 3D inprimagailu batekin inprimatzen. Gustu berriak izango dira, orain usaindu ere egiten ez ditugunak. Jana konposatu, inprimatu eta Internetez banatuko dugu laster.

Malaysiara joango zara. Errazago onartzen dituzte teknologia berri hauek Asian Europan baino?

Ikerketa institutu bat eratuko dut han, Interneten geroa imajinatzeaz gain, benetako gailuak sortzeko. Europa zoragarria da sorkuntzarako, Pizkundetik dabilelako mugak hautsi nahian. Asia tradizionalagoa da, baina oso ongi onartzen ditu robotak, budismoan edozein gauzak duelako arima. Europa eta Asia lankidetzan hasten badira, oso ideia sendoak eta berriak sortuko dira.

http://www.berria.eus/paperekoa/1845/040/001/2015-03-11/jana_konposatu_eta_inprimatuko_dugu.htm

The future of extreme thrills – Guardian

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Nicola Davis, Monday 9 March 2015

Why are humans attracted to intense, thrilling experiences that expose us to danger?

Nicola Davis is joined by Professor Adrian David Cheok of City University London. He’s the founder of the Mixed Reality Lab in Singapore. Also in the studio isProfessor Brendan Walker, the artist-engineer behind Neurosis, a mixed-reality thrill ride which will be shown at FutureFest, a weekend of immersive experiences, performances and speakers designed to excite and challenge perceptions of the future. Joining them is the journalist Kit Buchan, who recently tried out Brendan’s Neurosis ride.

Can virtual experiences provoke the same responses as real ones? Where is science and technology taking us next in our search for strange and extreme thrills? And should we be wary of the physical and psychological consequences of virtual reality?

http://www.theguardian.com/science/audio/2015/mar/09/futurefest-virtual-reality-extreme-thrills

Share touch, smell and taste via the internet

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The smell of freshly cut lavender – like so many fragrances, it has the power to conjure up a whole set of memories and feelings – imagine being able to share that with someone on the other side of the earth.

Sharing smell, but also touch, and even taste – that’s the vision of a London university professor who has developed a range of devices he hopes will transcend the current limitations of online communication.

Today, our interaction with a smartphone or a computer is essentially audio-visual. Adrian David Cheok, Professor of Pervasive Computing at City University London, wants to involve all of our senses.

“Imagine you’re looking at your desktop, or your iPhone or laptop – everything is behind the glass, behind a window, you’re either touching glass or looking through glass. But in the real world, we can open up the glass, open the window and we can touch, we can taste, we can smell. So, what we need to do is we need to bring computers – the way we interact with computers – like we do in the physical world, with all of our five senses,” says Professor Cheok.

To communicate smells via the internet, Cheok and his team have created the “Scentee” device, which connects to an app on your smartphone. An aroma is released when you receive a text message or when the phone clock alarm goes off.

“Scentee is a small device than you can attach into your mobile phone, into the audio jack. And what happens is that it allows you to send a smell message through your mobile phone. So, for example, it could be someone’s birthday and you can send them the smell of strawberry,” explains Professor Cheok.

Fragrances include florals like lavender and rose, fruit like strawberries or invigorating aromas like coffee.

One device plus 3 aroma cartridges will set you back some US$70 or around 60 euros. Each replaceable cartridge contains around 100 sprays. Its developers say the technology can also be used in tandem with a smart phone alarm clock to fill a room with an aroma and influence a person’s mood.

But Cheok wants to go further, beyond smell, and offer users a chance to share touch via the internet. So, together with a team of researchers in Japan, he has developed what’s been dubbed the “world’s first tele-hug ring”.

“With this device here – it’s called RingU and you can put it on your finger – it connects to your smartphone so you can connect to anyone in the world through the internet. So I can be in London and my friend can be in Tokyo, and I can squeeze my finger and then they’ll get a squeeze on their finger through the internet. It’s a way of touch communication with small mobile devices,” says Professor Cheok.

When one user “hugs” the ring, the touch sense is digitally transmitted to the recipient’s ring which then replicates the sensation. The ring communicates with your smartphone using Bluetooth technology. It can even display the date, time and location so-called “hugs” were sent and received.

Moving on to taste now, and Cheok’s most surprising invention: the “Electronic Taste Machine”. Wedged between two metal sensors, your tongue is tricked into experiencing various tastes, ranging from sour to bitter, salt or sweet, depending on the frequency of the electrical current passing through the electrodes.

And like with the other devices, these electrical signals can travel through the Internet.

“We’ve researched and found certain frequencies and amplitude of electrical current can generate artificial taste,” explains Professor Cheok. “So, basically what happens is you put these two silver electrodes in your mouth, you put your tongue in between and then it stimulates electrically your tongue and you get a virtual taste perception in your brain.”

Cheok is the founder of Singapore’s “Mixed Reality Lab”.

In mixed reality, the real and virtual worlds will eventually merge as one, to produce new environments where physical and digital objects will co-exist and interact in real time.

Copyright © 2015 euronews

http://www.euronews.com/2015/02/02/share-touch-smell-and-taste-via-the-internet/

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