How desserts can be used for coding

New research from Monash University has discovered how desserts can be applied to demonstrate coding.

Researchers say there have been big advances in food experiences like 3D-printed food, ingestible sensors, and the use of robots with food service and consumption with augmented reality. So far, the researchers say, these experiments have only involved using the technology alongside existing food.

Logic Bonbon offers a cyber-food experience that combines logical operations – the building blocks of every digital computer – with edible materials resulting in the creation of a liquid-centric dessert.

A Logic Bonbon system includes a pre-made hollow candy along with the option of three different “logic gates” that allow flavored liquids to flow into the candy.

Users can introduce different liquids to the candy simultaneously, and the candy is filled with different combinations of flavors and colors depending on the “logic gate” used. The Bonbon also has a transparent top layer that allows users to see their end results.

Food designer turned human-computer interaction researcher and lead author Jialin Deng from the Effort Games Laboratory of the Faculty of Information Technology believes that the idea behind the development of the application was to use the food itself as an integral part of the calculation operation.

“For three months, we tested the system with 10 participants, allowing them to smell, experiment and ‘play’ with the Logic Bonbons, filling it with different flavor combinations that they could consume,” says Deng.

“Through their interactions with the Logic Bonbons, participants experience and learn hands-on logic operations and essentially create an edible mini-computer that requires input, performs calculations, and results in different combinations of outputs while displaying different emoticons and flavors, allowing it’s up to the user to find out what the calculation looks like,” adds Deng.

Research Co-Author and Exertions Games Lab Lead Professor Florian Muller says that the process of interacting with computation and understanding should not be limited to linear methods.

“Through this project, we’re showing that even food and interacting with your meal can be a way to introduce people to the concepts of computing,” says Mueller.

“It would be great to see this research applied and further developed by creators such as chefs, food designers and foodies to introduce computing concepts in a fun multi-sensory way and provide experiences where diners run the software the chef has programmed. in their food.”

Possible future research on this project includes the development of more complex food-based computer systems to further explore unique culinary experiences while supporting chef craftsmanship and expertise.

Logic Bonbon research results will be presented at the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in New Orleans, USA through May 5.


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