What a scoop: musical ice cream
Eating ice cream makes you happy, no question, but what about ice cream that plays music while you’re eating it? Yep! Researchers from Monash University and RMIT have found a way to add a multisensory layer to the joy of eating ice cream with WeScream!, an ice cream cone that plays different sounds while you’re enjoying it.
WeScream! offers a digital upgrade through sound that stimulates both happiness and playfulness. The technology acts as an additional component or “ingredient” to ice cream, enhancing the sensory experience and intriguing hospitality groups along the way.
WeScream! combines human-computer interaction technology and consists of two interdependent 3D-printed ice cream cones that let users interact with musical sounds or their preferred playlist, which is generated through the act of eating ice cream together.
Project lead, Professor Florian “Floyd” Mueller, Director of the Exertion Games Lab in Monash University’s Faculty of Information Technology, says this technology encourages playful social eating experiences and brings a whole new meaning to sensory dining.
“Our research found that WeScream! facilitated an enjoyable experience for participants eating together, while also increasing their awareness and attention to the taste of the ice cream,” Professor Mueller says.
“Along the way, we have also sparked the interest of chefs and mixologists who are looking for innovative and exciting ways to enhance the dining experience for their customers. The technology is relatively affordable to create and we hope to see WeScream! making an appearance in the hospitality industry relatively soon.”
Exertion Games Lab PhD Candidate Yan Wang explains how physical sensations associated with eating, combined with digital technology, can enhance our everyday eating practices.
“WeScream! offers the characteristics of gameplay where participants can explore different musical sounds or create a steady flow of sounds through the act of eating ice cream,” he says. “We believe our work will not only help game developers design playful experiences around food but also encourage food designers and chefs to incorporate interactive technology into their practices.”