IBM has recently announced an “electronic tongue” that can quickly identify the taste of liquids – Hypertaste. The company describes Hypertaste as an artificial intelligence-based electronic tongue that can identify liquids faster than traditional laboratories, , for example, remote water inspections and fake wine tests.
Patrick Ruch, one of the scientists working on this project, said:
As people, we’re very good at identifying different liquids. Although we may not be able to pinpoint the exact amounts of ingredients in liquids, we can do things like recognizing the same liquid over and over again. This is something that we decided to repeat in this project.
Although it can be sent to the laboratory for analysis, this process takes a lot of time and money. IBM Hypertaste are alternatives to this approach, one minute can be built-in smart phones to view on the liquid component.
The e-tongue utilizes something called combinatorial sensing, which involves individual sensors simultaneously responding to different chemicals in a liquid. The result is a ‘fingerprint’ of the liquid. The device is made using off-the-shelf electronics and works with a mobile app to transfer data to the cloud.
Once the data is on the server, a machine learning algorithm will be providing results on the user’s phone based on a database of other liquids. Different machine learning models can be used, according to IBM, making it possible to use the same e-tongue device for different tasks.
Hypertaste could prove useful in a variety of industries, including the food and beverage industry, environmental work that takes place in remote areas, and the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. Packaged beverages could be rapidly tested on-site to determine whether they actually contain the beverage shown on the packaging, for example, something made possible by the rapid, portable nature of the e-tongue and mobile app system.