This is shameful to admit, but “computational food” and “electrowetting” technology weren’t on our radar before today.
Now they’ll never fall off, thanks to the innovative “Dancing Delicacies” system built by scientists at Monash University’s Exertion Games Lab in Australia.
What is it? Simply put, the new system marks the future of playing with food, which involves… well, watching food play with itself.
The Monash team, and their collaborators at Carnegie Mellon University and Gaudi Labs, created a novel 3D-printed dining plate with a simple goal: to advance the bounds of culinary performance art.
This experiment surely accomplishes that, per Forbes:
- Through a process called “electrowetting,” voltage can be applied to small globules of liquid to prompt movement.
- Dancing Delicacies plates are outfitted with a programmable electrode board.
- Liquids (think: droplets of sauces and condiments) can be jolted across the plate in playful, choreographed patterns.
The result is really cool and really trippy: Chefs will be able to construct beautiful storytelling symphonies where sauces travel — without being touched — to artfully blend with other items on the plate.
Food and tech can mesh nicely
Fine dining, a $11.5B market in the US, is a competitive industry — and one that relies on novelty to keep growing.
As restaurateurs struggle to justify pricey menus, “computational food” — when scientists mix food, data, and technology — could provide a solution, offering chefs a way to add never-before-seen experiences to their meals.
Monash’s lab is a leader in the making-food-weirder space. Past projects have included:
- Sonic Straws: an interactive cup with two straws that produce different sounds when used.
- iScream!: a 3D-printed ice cream cone that makes musical sounds unique to each bite.
- InsideOut: a wearable, real-time video feed inside a gastrointestinal tract as captured by a paired imaging capsule.
One last thought: The first person to use these plates to create an edible game of Pac-Man is going to be our favorite person of all time.
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