Virtual drinking sensations

The Straw-like User Interface, developed at the University of Electro-Communications in Tokyo, allows users to virtually experience the sensations of drinking. Such sensations are created by referencing sample data of actual pressures, vibrations, and sounds produced by drinking from an ordinary straw attached to the system.


The system transmits pressure changes to the straw, which applies vibrations to the mouth. The pressure changes are created by a valve in the interface. If the valve is closed, the pressure increases. If the valve is open, the pressure decreases. Also, when the speaker inside the interface vibrates, the straw attached to it receives the vibration and transmist it to the lips.

Pressure changes and sounds from real-world drinking experiences are recorded and reproduced by the interface. A pressure sensor installed near the straw gathers pressure values, and a small microphone acquires audio data.

The application could be used to enhance game experience, enable distance communication via touch, augment sense perception among the elderly and physically challenged and of course develop new beverages.