January 30 2015 – Robert Fiumara
If you’re one of the millions in America who suffer from Diabetes or food allergies, you may be missing out on some of your favorite foods. From sweet treats to nut-laden cookies, a diet of food restrictions can get even the happiest person down and out. Luckily, there’s a new high-tech way that diner’s of all ages can experience the taste of their favorite foods, without the calories or ingredients to worry about!
Magic Leap, a virtual reality company, has created a software program designed to trick our taste buds into experiencing what they call a “gastronomical virtual reality experience.” Simply put, using head-mounted 3D displays, 3D printers, and food science; Magic Leap has created a way to transform simple Jell-like wedges to taste like steak, apple pie, and even sushi. Made from agar and pectin, the soft wedges are colorfully dyed and shaped like the food they represent, coming in easy bite-sizes. Creator Jinsoo An was inspired by his Father’s battle with diabetes and his discontent at all the wonderful tasting food he had to give up in order to manage his illness. The food is imaginary so it won’t spike your blood sugar but your brain is tricked into enjoying the experience as if you’re eating ‘real’ food.
The agar and pectin imaginary food won’t have the same texture as many foods but An’s team is working hard to recreate texture when it comes to sushi, steaks, and desserts like apple pie. Many ingredients and recipes were inspired by the vegan’s chefs whose imagination and creativity has produced hundreds of recipes that mimic the taste of food that vegan’s cannot indulge in. Experimenting with yeast and mushroom powder has recreated the savory flavors of a steak for Magic Leap. Aromatic diffusers are placed near diners to simulate the smells of the freshly prepared fake meals that diners are about to indulge in.
Magic Leap is only in the development stages of its virtual reality dining experience but hopes to bring the technology to a restaurant near you very soon!
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