Japanese inventors have designed a hi-tech (and slightly bonkers) device that claims to help people lose weight – and it involves a pair of ‘slimming spectacles’ that trick the brain into thinking that food is 50% bigger than it really is.
The ‘Meta Cookie+’ gadget has been developed by a team of researchers from Tokyo University, Japan and was showcased at Tokyo's Digital Content Expo.
The virtual tasting headgear screens a larger-looking image of the food in front of the wearer and supposedly suppresses the appetite by tricking the brain’s perception of food size.
After trialling the gadget, researchers claim those who wore the food goggles, ate 9.3% less than those who didn’t try out the specs.
Another tool the gadget boasts is the ability to manipulate the smell and taste of the food.
The virtual eye wear is able to cleverly transform bland-tasting food into something more appetising and indulgent.
The headgear sends a shot of ‘smell’ through a tube that is sent direct to the wearers nose as the wearer eats a tasteless cookie – all while watching an image of the desired food on the screen in front of their eyes.
The idea behind this concept is that the brain will be duped into thinking that what is seeing and smelling is real, and it therefore changes the taste of the food that is eaten.
Professor Michitaka Hirose says the taste is altered virtually using the trickery of smell. “Among virtual reality technologies, taste is the least advanced. So we thought it would be good to have a system that can render flavours digitally,” prof Hirose said at the Expo.
“Wearers can experience the taste of the cookie psychologically.”
The slimming goggles aren’t the first set of eyewear aimed at dieters – another wacky attempt includes a less techno design, a pair of deep blue aviator-style glasses.
These specs claim to suppress the appetite by making items appear blue and unappealing. The brains behind this invention, a Japanese company called Yumetai, say that blue colours calms the brain’s hunger sensors.
All images supplied by London Media.