A group of MIT researchers recently developed a techno-connected book that aims to revolutionize the literary world as we know it. By wearing a device attached to the body readers can feel the range of emotions experienced by the main character as they make their way through the book.
The brainchild of Felix Heibeck, Alexis Hope and Julie Legault, this type of sensory stimulation could mean big news to the food industry as chefs seek new ways to stimulate diners. We've seen it with Ferran Adria's self-described 'techno-emotional' cuisine at elBulli, the culinary opera developed by El Celler de Can Roca and in the way Grant Achatz pushes the envelope at Alinea and Next in Chicago.
Before cookbooks we can smell become a reality the technology for techno-connected books needs to evolve. At the moment, MIT researchers rely on an apparatus attached to the front and back of the body which sends feedback to the body and changes the user’s heartbeat rate by "creating constriction through air pressure bags, or causing localized temperature fluctuation,'' Design Boom reports.
By creating cookbooks that mimic the inner workings of a techno-connected book, chefs would be able to guide readers more efficiently. Phrases like ''cook until aromatic'' and ''bake until golden brown'' may become elements that readers can feel and perhaps smell.
For their innovative book to work, MIT researchers attached 150 LED lights that change according to the readers moods, enhancing the ambiance and making emotions seem more real. In theory, a techno-connected cookbook could be outfitted with a Scentee, a Japanese device that allows people to smell food using their phone.
The Scentee offers limitless possibilities and is already being used by chef Andoni Luis Aduriz to develop an app so diners can smell dishes at his restaurant Mugaritz.
It sure sounds like a cool way of engaging the senses in producing food. What do you think? Are cookbooks we can smell the future? Tell us in the comments below!
Images via Design Boom