Flavor is often a pleasurable sensory perception we experience everyday while eating and drinking. However, the sensation of flavor is rarely considered in the age of digital communication mainly due to the unavailability of flavors as a digitally controllable media. We developed the Digital Flavor Synthesizing device, a digital instrument, which actuates taste (electrical and thermal stimulation) and smell sensations (controlled scent emitting) together to simulate different flavors digitally.
The system has several submodules for electrical and thermal stimulation on the tongue, overlaying smells, and a wearable tongue interface (which consists of a pair of silver electrodes). The electrical stimulation submodule sends weak and controlled electrical pulses (by manipulating the frequency and current of the electrical stimuli) to silver electrodes. Additionally, temperature changes are achieved on silver electrodes using a Peltier semiconductor element, which is able to heat and cool rapidly. A heat sink is used to provide an efficient temperature control. In addition, the smell emitting submodule has four small compartments to store four different scents in the form of solid perfumes. Each of these compartments has a resister based heating mechanism to emit smells. When using the device, artificial flavors are delivered as a combination of digital stimulated taste sensations and different scents.