We Tested Phantom Snack, A Gadget That Simulates The Feeling of Eating (So You Can Avoid the Calories)

dentsu phantom snack diet gadget

Phantom Snack – just how cool is that name? No, it’s not the guilty midnight snack that haunts you but an exciting technology that was on display at SXSW 2023.

Our reporter Yue Xu visited Dentsu and discovered a device that allows you to have the same sensation of chewing food without eating the calories. 

Through a clever combination of AI that detects how you eat and a variety of gadgets like bone conduction headphones and scent machines, the Dentsu Phantom Snack machine will simulate actual eating. 

“Phantom Snack uses image recognition and AI to analyze the way you chew. The key to the Phantom Snack experience is that it picks up not only opening and closing of the mouth, but also smaller chewing motions while the mouth is closed. It then sends vibrations and sound back to you via bone conduction headphones in time with the movement of your jaw, simulating the sensation of chewing food. It also connects to video graphics and aroma diffusers to give you the fun, novel experience of eating without actually eating,” says the company on the official website.

When our reporter and their friend tried the product, it did not always work to create the sensation of the actual snack – but it worked enough times to create excitement about the potential of a diet gadget like this. As an emotional eater, I know I’ll keep an eye on Dentsu in the future.

The Dentsu Phantom Snack machine is still a prototype and part of the Dentsu Unnamed Sensations lineup, which also includes the actual, physical-sensation offering hug machine we also covered at SXSW..

As for diet gadgets, the Phantom Snack seems to work the same way as these incredible chopsticks, which aim to make food taste salty using electricity  – not actual salt.

Also read: To Help Combat Climate Change, Unilever Is Making Ice Cream That Doesn’t Melt At Higher Temps

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