NUS team's smart utensils that can mimic flavour among innovations at One North fest

Taste+ utensils were created by a team from the National University of Singapore.
Taste+ utensils were created by a team from the National University of Singapore. PHOTO: NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE
Taste+ utensils were created by a team from the National University of Singapore.
Taste+ utensils were created by a team from the National University of Singapore. PHOTO: NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE
Taste+ utensils were created by a team from the National University of Singapore.
Taste+ utensils were created by a team from the National University of Singapore. PHOTO: NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE
Taste+ utensils were created by a team from the National University of Singapore.
Taste+ utensils were created by a team from the National University of Singapore. PHOTO: NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE

Diabetics will now be able to drink a beverage without any sugar but it will still taste sweet to them, thanks to new smart utensils that can mimic flavours.

All they have to do is choose a setting on the smart cup, spoon or chopsticks, and the user can taste flavours such as bitter, sweet and sour - and select the intensity they prefer - with the help of electrical pulses.

The settings - for instance, "Sour Level 2" - can be saved and transmitted by social media or text message to someone else, and they can taste the same sensation.

Known as Taste+ utensils, they were created by a team from the National University of Singapore, and could prove a lifeline for people who are unable to include certain foods in their diet but still have a taste for them and opt not to turn to chemical additives or flavour enhancers.

The Taste+ utensils were among the latest cutting-edge technologies showcased at the two-day One North Festival, which was held at the Biopolis Epicentre on Friday (Aug 18).

Organised by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) and JTC Corporation, the festival, which is now into its second year, features more than 50 exhibition booths, 40 talks, as well as interactive workshops.

Visitors will be able to see an array of innovative products, which will be divided into three categories: Future Living, Future Work, and Future Health.

The exhibits include 3D printers and robotic arms for the assembly line, virtual reality for programming machines in the workplace, flying drones with video cameras, and devices to detect sugar levels in soft drinks.

Ms Low Yen Ling, Senior Parliamentary Secretary (Trade and Industry, and Education), in her opening address, said: "As a vibrant hub with major stakeholders side-by-side in a research and innovation ecosystem, One North is like an engine spurring the creation of ideas, test-bedding innovations, and transforming technology into products and services for daily life."

On Saturday (Aug 19), there will be the inaugural "Soapbox Race" from 11am to 6pm. About 14 teams will take part in the race using non-motorised, gravity powered vehicles.

The festival ends tomorrow (Aug 19).