The 13th quarterly email newsletter from the ( team. Check out the archive if you missed any!

Q1: Sense of taste, gustatory perception

Last newsletter we discussed the Sensors of Smell, now were moving onto Taste. It is one of our core senses that hasn't made the jump to our digital devices - yet.

Human Senses Phone Sensors
Sight Camera
Sound Microphone/Speakers
Touch Touch
Balance Accelerometer
Time Clock

As you can see “Taste” is one of those senses that currently is not replicated in our smart phones. Why not? and will it ever?

What advantage would we gain if our devices were Supertasters?

The discovery of Umami!

Kikunae Ikeda

We all know the four basic taste types, sweet, sour, salty and bitter, but there is a fifth, elusive taste - umami.

It's not often you get to discover a whole new taste flavour, then get to name it yourself, but that is exactly what Kikunae Ikeda did back in 01908.

You can listen to a brief history of the discovery of umami on NPR.

Products of the Future

We are always interested in the future, so we’ve profiled a few futuristic taste related products.

Miracle Fruit

This African berry could replace sugar in most all your food sources. By blocking sour-receptors it tricks the mind into thinking things are much sweeter than they really are.

Eat your words

This new device allows you to taste words. Ever wanted to dine or Shakespeare, Homer or Joyce? Now you can with this little invention.

Lab-grown burgers

Does free-range meat taste better than farmed? What about lab-grown? Now you can taste your own lab-grown burger for only $325,000.

Watermelon Tuna

With the world's population of blue-fin tuna ever decreasing, the search for substitutes have begun. One has been found in the unlikely taste of a watermelon.

Penguins lost 3 of the 5 main taste types.

After some extensive genomic testing, scientists from the University of Michigan have determined that penguins have lost the ability to taste sweet, bitter and umami around 20 millions years ago. As it turns out, no bird species can taste sweet. With limited taste receptors and no teeth for chewing, a birds's life isn't a very tasty one.

Availability Forecast

We are available for projects this quarter. With an estimated 20% availability we have room to help make you look like a hero.

Availability Forecast

2015Q3 looks pretty open, so get in contact if we can help with any of your projects.

Quarterly Contest

Our Q1 contest was for a Designing with Data book. This went Chris from Langkampfen, Austria who was the closest to our randomly selected point of -27.667;-80.898

Our 02015 contests will revolve around paper and our Q2 prize is one of our experiments with Tyvek, a soft, cloth-like paper.

You can't win, if you don't enter!

Recent Articles

  • Schelling Points We all have an innate sense of where to meet, but do animals have this too?
  • 02014 Annual Report If you are freelancing or a small company it could be good to compare cost/income percentages.
  • Omnibus 02014 A look back over the year and comment on the articles, ideas and themes.
  • Weeknotes We've also been diligently updating our weeknotes. We've found them to be an excellent reference for ourselves.

RSS isn't dead! You can still stay up-to-date with all these articles via RSS, just copy this link and paste it in your favourite RSS reader or something like the Instapaper/Pocket Receipe in IFTTT.

If you find this newletter interesting, thought provoking or have some suggestions, then let us know. We'd love to hear from you.

Just hit reply!