Food and VR don’t seem like like two things that go together, but industry trade publication The Japan Food Journal is hosting a virtual reality-themed seminar on August 9th, in Tokyo’s Akihabara neighborhood. The event is part of the magazine’s annual Food New Technology Research Trade Show. The seminar will feature three virtual reality and food related lectures:
Deliciousness and Cross-Modality will focus on using VR technology to simulate food. The center of the talk will be Meta Cookie, a VR experience developed in 2010 that tricks users taste buds using only smell and an augmented reality cookie. According to the seminar’s program, “There is more to food than just taste. When we call something delicious, its smell, sight, sound, and touch all influence flavor. Using VR technology, we can now use these other senses. Scientific analysis can tell us what is delicious and why.”
Creating New Mouthfeel in VR will examine using audio in VR to communicate a food’s texture. The program lacks details on how sound can replicate texture, but it seems like a natural fit if you consider the satisfying crunch of an apple- or the sickening slap of cafeteria food being thrown on a plastic tray.
Finally, Measuring the Selling Power of Real Goods in the Virtual Shopping Experience will introduce Image Basket VR, a browser-based VR shopping service created by Dai Nippon Printing. Looking at the company’s screenshots of the product, it still appears to be early in development. The program acknowledges this, saying that the lecture will ask attendees to imagine what it would feel like to use the completed product.
While entrance to the trade show itself is free, the virtual reality seminar will run attendees 16,200 Yen ($147 USD). Locations and times can be found (in Japanese) at MoguraVR.