Project Nourished

A Presentation

What makes a Meal? Project Nourished is a Virtual Reality system that aims to mimic the experience of eating and drinking.

How its Done

Equipment is provided to manipulate the senses so that your brain is tricked into thinking it is consuming real food and drink product with a sense of satisfaction.

These senses are, namely:

  • Vision
  • Taste
  • Smell
  • Texture
  • Consistency
  • Sound

Produced by these systems:

  • Aromatic Diffuser
  • VR Headset
  • Bone Conducting Transducer
  • Gyroscopic Utensil
  • Virtual Cocktail Glass
  • 3D Printed Food

Talking Points

Many VR projects draw a focus on usually one, two, or three senses. This one wants to do it all. Now I know what this looks like. on the surface. It might seem like a dreamt up shallow art piece that got a little to far out of hand, or an ultra chique product directed to the audience of only the tippiest top of the elite, but within this project are many hidden groundbreaking technologies in development.

Bone Conducting Transducer

Bone Conduction is the process of transferring sound to the ear via bone. Its main properties are that it allows a user to simultaneously use their ears for normal hearing while percieving sounds of the transducer, and that this sound from the transducer is inconspicuous in that it cannot be heard by others, almost like the sound is coming from inside your head. This implementation is particularly interesting, in that this may be the only application of bone conduction where the transduced sound directly mimics in real life sound, the chewing sounds and mouth movements you hear inside your head when you eat or drink.

3D Printed Food

3D printed food has been around and experimented with (read more about 3D printed food here ) but one standing problem of using 3d printed food is creating and maintaining texture. Project Nourished seemed to have solved this problem in a diffrent way by developing a food source that can be 3d printed to the exact specifications of a 3D model. One of their proud achievements, I can only assume as it is shown on their main webpage and their production video, is reproducing the sushi eating experience by printing an intricate block of rice capturing the texture and consistency of a real block of rice.

3d printed rice block

In addition, this printed food is said to be made with substainable sources, like algae and insects, combined with a hydrocolloid base which provides structure and texture (hydrocolloids are present in many foods as a thickening agent).

Application

  • Virtual indulging
    - eat various foods to your stomach's desire or until you can't stand the smell, at various locations
  • Countless imaginary foods
    - now is your chance to know what unicorn meat tastes like
  • Sustainability
    - your descendants new favorite space food.
  • Food allergy and therapy relief
    - everyone can have their cake and eat it too, without the influx of calories

Application in Practice

(+) Eating experience with people across the world. There is potential to turn this system into a new form of virtual social interaction, whether it becomes a confined casual chat or a big planned event to taste the newest creations with others.

(-) Isolated eating experience. There is also potential to use this system as a way to further isolate oneself from reality. This can become an entirely solo experience in an entirely virtual location, with little to no interaction with other people.

(-) At this stage and what was presented by their video, the Project Nourished experience should come with a hefty price tag. If the team decides to implement augmented features on actual food, as was said on their webpage, then the Virtual headset used must be close to the Microsoft Hololens, and in that case, this becomes a mixed reality experience that drastically increases the price tag versus VR systems.

Their high production webpage leaves a lot to be answered, like using deep learning to maximize the pleasure of consumption, but unfortunately, the founder of this project hasn't uploaded any new production videos to his Youtube channel in more than two years and the webpage remains incomplete. Fortunately, he was conducted in an interview February of this year here which offers more insight into the "why" of Project Nourished, and its potential implication in a virtually connected world.

Project Nourished Webpage

Content sourced from www.projectnourished.com, all3dp.com, www.jwtintelligence.com