At Interaction 2011, a research group at Ochanomizu University demonstrated EaTheremin which are eating utensils that make various sounds when they’re used.
“The sound produced varies, depending on the resistance. When you bite the food on the end of the fork, electricity passes through your body, forming an equivalent circuit. The resistance value depends on the food, and the sound produced depends on the resistance.”
“Electricity passes through your whole body, so no matter where you touch this to your body, you will get a sound. But because the inside of your mouth is the wettest part, you get a really good sound there.”
“Our aim is that, because this creates a good rhythm, people will want to eat more, or try eating foods they didn’t really like before. We think it would be great if children have fun with this.”
If a food has a different consistency on the inside and outside, the difference in the resistance values creates a richer, more complicated sound. And flexible items, like chicken skin, can generate vibrato effects as they stretch.
“Several people can use this if they eat together. With the current system, I think it would be fun if a special sound could be created when two people make the same sound as one person.”
As well as forks, the researchers are thinking of using this system in spoons and cups. With spoons, it could be used with liquid foods such as soup as well. Also, by dividing the electrodes between two utensils, the system could be used for both at the same time. For example, a variable sound could be created when pouring a drink from a bottle into a cup.
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