A Machine That Prints Food Smells On Postcards

China-based Zhu Jingxuan, a student from Donghua University’s Fashion & Art Design Institute, has created a concept device that captures pictures and aromas of food and prints them on postcards. The ‘food printer’ is a combination of a camera, a smell extractor and a printer: the camera takes the picture of the food; while the smell extractor collects the aroma of it simultaneously; and the printer prints a postcard with aroma ink.

Zhu’s idea behind her food printer is so that people can capture the fragrances of food when dining overseas, and send it to friends back home—so that they can experience the cuisine visually and aromatically. The system would work using an aroma sensor, which would analyze the smell of the food and simulate it by mixing different aroma inks stored in the machine. When the right formula is achieved, the smell would be printed onto part of the postcard.

I spent several months designing it. What I completed was just an idea and draft sketch. Without the help of Sony’s designers, I could not have made the model.

The food printer was created as part of Sony’s Student Design Workshop. Talk about synesthesia!



Diet Goggles Keep You From Eating Too Much

Your eyes are bigger than your stomach. So the trick is to make your eyes smaller. That’s what these glasses do. And when you think your food is really big, it changes how you eat.

No matter what hucksters try to tell you, the best way to lose weight is through diet and exercise (and potentially by avoiding toxic chemicals). So beyond creating a magic weight-loss pill that really works, the best way scientists can innovate is by making it easier to consume less food.

The augmented reality goggles seen in the video above, created by researchers at the University of Tokyo, pull a simple visual trick to keep you from gorging on food. When users look at a food item, its size is magnified–but everything else around it is of normal size. By making you think you’re eating more, in other words, the researchers think they can convince you to eat less.

People ate 10% less when their biscuits were magnified by 50%.

The goggles don’t involve any manipulation of smell or touch–the simple visual trick seems to be enough. But according to AFP, the researchers have also developed a device (dubbed a “meta biscuit”) that uses scent and visual changes to fool users into thinking that a plain biscuit is actually flavored like strawberry or chocolate.

The researchers don’t plan on commercializing their technology. But maybe in a few years’ time, their visual trick will end up in Google Glass, right alongside social video sharing.


Edible ‘stop signs’ in food could help control overeating

Food and Brand Lab Director Brian Wansink found that inserting edible serving size markers in tubes of chips helped curb overeating among college students.

Very interesting article on an experiment done by Cornell university, whole article can be found here.

“As part of an experiment carried out on two groups of college students (98 students total) while they were watching video clips in class, researchers from Cornell’s Food and Brand Lab served tubes of Lays Stackables, some of which contained chips dyed red.”