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DOCOMO Announces World's 1st Tech That Utilizes Human-Augmentation Platform For Sharing Taste Perceptions Between People

TOKYO, Dec 22, 2023 - (JCN Newswire) - NTT DOCOMO, INC., Miyashita Laboratory of the School of Interdisciplinary Mathematical Sciences, Meiji University, and H2L Inc. announced today that they have developed a technology that enables taste information to be shared between people via a human-augmentation platform developed by DOCOMO. The solution combines DOCOMO's human-augmentation platform with Miyashita Laboratory and H2L's technology for reproducing tastes.

The technology, which DOCOMO believes is the world's first3 of its kind, comprises a sensing device that detects data on a person's perception of taste, a human-augmentation platform that shares the taste by taking into account individual differences in sensitivity, and a "driving" device that reproduces the taste for enjoyment by others.

Specifically, after a specific taste is analyzed and quantified, a proprietary algorithm on the human-augmentation platform estimates how the first person perceived the taste using approximately 25 data points, and then the taste is reproduced using the driving device for sharing with others.

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The driving device reproduces the five basic tastes (sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami) using 20 types of base liquids. For related tastes, it uses a base solution. As a result, tastes that are difficult to convey in words can be shared more clearly with others.

The technology is expected to be used in virtual experiences in the metaverse space, which until now has been a purely visual and auditory world, as well as in combination with film and animation. The inclusion of taste expressions will enable users to enjoy extra-rich content and experiences with an unprecedented sense of presence.

Going forward, DOCOMO, Miyashita Laboratory and H2L will develop solutions for sharing taste perceptions based on their new technology, aiming to create new communication culture and providing new value for enhanced quality of life.

This technology will be introduced during the "docomo Open House '24" online event beginning on January 17.

(1) Miyashita Laboratory: In addition to research on the TTTV actuator that reproduces taste perceptions, Homei Miyashita won the 2023 Ig Nobel Prize for his research on "electric taste," which changes (extends) taste perception by applying a weak electric current.
(2) The system uses DOCOMO's "FEEL TECH" platform for sharing haptic information between people by collecting haptic information of one person and linking it with information on the five senses.
(3) DOCOMO's research as of December 21, 2023
(4) A liquid used to standardize the perception and intensity of tastes, used here to reproduce, evaluate and compare tastes.

About NTT DOCOMO

NTT DOCOMO, Japan's leading mobile operator with over 88 million subscriptions, is one of the world's foremost contributors to 3G, 4G and 5G mobile network technologies. Beyond core communications services, DOCOMO is challenging new frontiers in collaboration with a growing number of entities ("+d" partners), creating exciting and convenient value-added services that change the way people live and work. Under a medium-term plan toward 2020 and beyond, DOCOMO is pioneering a leading-edge 5G network to facilitate innovative services that will amaze and inspire customers beyond their expectations.https://www.docomo.ne.jp/english/

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