Flavors in AR (Photo: Microsoft)
With the help of viewers, speakers, projectors and other elements, it is possible for people to have new experiences with the palate
In a new experience, it is now possible that within the Augmented Reality (AR, for its acronym in English) new flavors are tasted. As if it were a scene from science fiction, the New Zealand company and world leader in Mānuka honey, Comvita, has managed to combining technology with a sense of taste.
Technology continues to experiment with new ways of coupling real life with virtuality. Until now AR viewers focused on seeing and hearing fictional elements, however now they are expanding the possibilities with a sense of taste.
During Expo 2020 in Dubai, Comvita , presented his AR show, where he transports the user to a dark enchanted forest, lost in the middle of the world to taste honey. The project promises to “set a new standard of food marketing and education for the consumer.”
This experience plays with the senses of sight and hearing, to later use them as support for the user to identify and understand the complexity of the flavors of Mānuka honey from New Zealand, which is a world leader in the field.
It should be noted that this type of honey is pure from the native forest, is recognized worldwide for its health benefits and sustainable origins.
What is the experience like
The magic that combines technology with the senses begins when each user sits in front of a tray with two samples of honey, a tasting spoon and a glass of sparkling water to cleanse the palate.
Each participant wears a HoloLens 2 headset for the AR experience. When everyone is ready, the lights go out and the presentation begins. The first thing they see is a life-size beehive hanging from a native New Zealand punga tree that appears out of the darkness.
Then a < b>virtual 3D beekeeper and guides them through a primitive environment, identical to the place where honey is collected. “A swarm of bees buzzes around the room searching for indigenous Mānuka bushes bearing tiny, delicate pink and white flowers filled with nectar.”
Once users are inside the virtual forest environment, the tasting begins. According to Microsoft, the profile accents of each honey “float” among all guests, to help them identify flavors, including apricot, butterscotch, marshmallow, etc.
The creators of the experience added a trail of sparkles in the air, which appears every time the tasting spoon is dipped into a jar of honey, as if it were a magic wand. The show was made between Comvita HoloLens and was organized by the New Zealand design agency, Blur the Lines.
Intent of the experience
Founder and creative director, Danielle Barclay, noted that “an emotional experience” was created that connects with the minds and taste buds of the participants.
Previously, Comvita and Blur the Lines built a multi-sensory honey tasting center, called “Wellness Lab”, in the city of Auckland, New Zealand.
“That space was designed to emulate the purity of the product: all white textures to allow the honey to shine, with an undulating acoustic ceiling. We had to incorporate three projectors, surround sound speakers, radiant heaters, sprinklers, air conditioning and lighting,” said Barclay.