SINGAPORE- An interactive and virtual drinking device called Vocktail, allows users to customise a “virtual cocktail” that researchers say smells, tastes, and looks like the real thing.

Basically, if you poured water into this device, pull out your phone, create your desired tastes, aromas and colours then you could be drinking the tastiest drink ever with no calories consumed.

This device was created by Nimesha Ranasinghe and his team from the Connective Ubiquitous Technology for Embodiments (CUTE) Center, located at the National University of Singapore. 

The device features:

1. A cocktail glass fused into a 3D-printed base, which holds the electronic control module.

2. Three micro air-pumps connected to three scent cartridges. 

3. Two silver electrodes on the rim of the glass 

How it works:

1. Vocktail digitally simulates distinct tastes, smells, and colours to create new virtual flavors or augment existing flavors.

This is done without actually physically mixing ingredients.

2. The device combines with a mobile application to enables users to create virtual flavours by remotely configuring the taste, smell, and colour stimuli via Bluetooth.

3. Two silver electrodes on the rim of the glass provide controlled electrical currents  to the tip of the tongue in order to simulate salty or sour sensations while drinking. 

4. To alter smell, the air-pumps release the chosen scent cartridges directly onto the surface of the beverage, which is close to the user’s nose when drinking. 

5. Users can add or change cartridges depending on the desired smell. They are also easily refillable, similar to replacing ink cartridges in a printer.

6. Preferred colours can be chosen with the mobile application which projects an LED light onto the beverage.

.“You could walk into a bar and order a mojito and using the mobile application, customize it to your preference with, say, a chocolate aroma and a hint of banana or mango. Or you could customize water to taste like your preferred flavored beverage and save the money,” says research fellow Nimesha Ranasinghe, who led the team at the CUTE Center.

Vocktail could also benefit the elderly who are on a restricted diet because of health conditions such as hypertension or heart disease.

“Using this technology, salt can be delivered in a virtual manner without the health drawbacks. Likewise for diabetic patients, sugar consumption can be reduced dramatically without loss of sensory pleasure. 

"It could also enhance quality of life for chemotherapy patients who have a reduced sense of taste. There are many applications that can be explored,” adds Ranasinghe.