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'Digital lollipop' allows people to simulate taste without eating

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Tasting all the ice cream you want and not getting fat? It sounds too good to be true. But researchers from the National University of Singapore have developed a 'digital lollipop' that allows users to simulate taste - without a calorie passing their lips, The New York Times reports.

While it sounds complicated, the technology behind the node is actually quite simple, according to engineering scholar Nimesha Ranasinghe who pioneered the project.

Small changes in vibration and temperature produce a sweet, salty, sour and bitter taste on the users tongue. The aim is to eventually have flavors available through smartphones or televisions that could allow users to share dinner with their favorite movie characters or taste a product before they buy.

But your iPhone hasn't turned into a Snickers just yet. Researchers are still working out how to produce complex flavors and develop the all important texture and smell in order to trick the brain into believing it's real.

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