Augmented reality: The ultimate hack in flavour perception?

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

The use of augmented and virtual reality technologies to change the visual appearance of food and drink in real time could improve the diets of consumers.

It could encourage people to eat a more nutritionally balanced diet by making healthy food more visually attractive.

Dr Katsunori Okajima, professor at the faculty of environment and information sciences at the Yokohama National University, was speaking at the Hacking Flavour Perception: Art, Design, Technology, and Gastrophysics workshop in Oxford.

The technology could one day even feed into public health policies and cleverly designed virtual food content.

Given the current obesity crisis, it would prove wise to pay attention to any environmental factor that may influence the consumer’s relation to food, and potentially sensitise the brain to food stimuli.

Food and drink manufacturers are aware of the possibilities and industry giants Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are already harnessing its abilities.

In 2015, Pepsi created an interactive football campaign that allowed users to interact with the product that also accessed exclusive videos and behind the scenes footage.

Meanwhile Coca-Cola has harnessed the power of augmented reality to help define the size of cooling equipment and displays in supermarket stores.

Related topics: Science

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