Japanese Glasses Trick Dieters Into Eating Less

Most people are familiar with the term ‘beer goggles’ which relates to the affects alcohol can have on inebriated people who often misinterpret the world around them. However, the concept of ‘salad goggles’ will be a new idea to most people and this time, it’s for real.
Researchers at the University of Tokyo have developed pairs of glasses that use computer technology and augmented reality to alter what the food you eat looks and tastes like, and is being aimed at people trying to diet or lose weight.

Snacks made to look bigger caused people to eat less

The procedure is relatively straight forward. In one example, the special glasses, mounted with a camera, sends images to a computer which magnifies the size of whatever the wearer is eating.
he computer then beams the images back into the glasses, and the wearer of the glasses sees their food as being bigger than it actually is.
In a controlled experiment carried out by the university, participants ate nearly 10% less biscuits, when they were led to believe that the snacks were 50% bigger. Others ate 15% more when their biscuits looked just 66% of their actual size.

Fooling the senses is the ultimate goal of virtual reality research

Reports have shown that 80% of people were fooled by the glasses. Professor Michitaka Hirose of the University of Tokyo’s information science and technology department said fooling the human senses is vital in the study of virtual reality.
In another experiment, the university used a ‘meta cookie’, to fool the person wearing the glasses that they were eating something other than a plain biscuit, using scent bottles and visual illusions. Users could set the device to make the biscuit taste like chocolate or strawberry, or whatever their favourite flavour was. Could this be the first step towards the popular science fiction theory that one day all of our meals will be taken in a pill?

The university said that they currently have no plans to release the glasses commercially, but will continue to experiment to see how augmented reality can be used to control a person’s eating habits. One can only hope that the glasses will one day be able to make cabbage taste like cheeseburgers, and water taste like wine. If that comes to pass, then the way we look at and consume food will change forever.

Author Bio:
Sean blogs about health, lifestyle and technology for leading 
glasses provider Direct Sight.
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