AI for multisensory experiences

What if artificial intelligence can help you see, hear, feel, be more? Last 16th October 2020, Marianna Obrist and me had a conversation on #AIforGood Let’s Talk, where we discussed the intersection of AI, multisensory experiences, and our quest for a better future. AI for Good is the leading United Nations platform for global and inclusive dialogue on AI. You can watch the recording below.





The sun of nothing – New collection of oil paintings

Save the date! “Multisensory experiences” book launch, 7th August 2020

Save the date! August 7th 2020, Marianna Obrist (UCL) and I will have the virtual launch of our book “Multisensory experiences: Where the senses meet technology“. The event will be hosted by Chef Pablo Naranjo and will be livestreamed on YouTube 🚀 you can register using this link.

We will present the book, provide the audience with a sneak peek about the different chapters, and also share the behind-the-scenes of our story and book writing process. This is just the beginning of the book world tour!

We will also give the attendees access to a code to get a discount when pre-ordering the book ✨ Please re post and join us! 🙂

New book! Multisensory experiences: Where the senses meet technology

Multisensory experiences where the senses meet technology

By Carlos Velasco and Marianna Obrist

Pre-order on Oxford Academic (Oxford University Press) website.

Check the book’s website for further information and enriched contents.


  • Based on advances on the senses and technology, the work presents a significant new interpretation of multisensory experiences
  • Provides the reader with insights as to how to understand multisensory experiences, create them, and how new technologies are allowing new multisensory experiences beyond imaginable.
  • Sets out a call for action based on the implications of multisensory experiences for individuals and society.


Most of our everyday life experiences are multisensory in nature; that is, they consist of what we see, hear, feel, taste, smell, and much more. Almost any experience you can think of, such as eating a meal or going to the cinema, involves a magnificent sensory world.

In recent years, many of these experiences have been increasingly transformed and capitalised on through advancements that adapt the world around us – through technology, products, and services – to suit our ever more computerised environment.

Multisensory Experiences: Where the senses meet technology looks at this trend and offers a comprehensive introduction to the dynamic world of multisensory experiences and design. It takes the reader from the fundamentals of multisensory experiences, through the relationship between the senses and technology, to finally what the future of those experiences may look like, and our responsibility in it.

This book empowers you to shape your own and other people’s experiences by considering the multisensory worlds that we live in through a journey that marries science and practice. It also shows how we can take advantage of the senses and how they shape our experiences through intelligent technological design.

Call for papers: Gastrophysics

Journal: International Journal of Food Design


Deadline for submission of full papers: December 31st, 2020.

The emerging science of gastrophysics aims to integrate diverse perspectives on gastronomical sciences into a unified field of academic inquiry. As suggested by Barham (2013, p. 3) “…gastrophysics should be to gastronomy as astrophysics is to astronomy. Astronomers observe the planets and stars, they note how they move and even predict future movements; but astrophysicists explain why the stars are where they are and how they got there, and they also supply the sound scientific basis for the whole subject.”

According to one definition, gastrophysics combines gastronomy and psychophysics in order to understanding what happens in the diner’s mind, in relationship to what happens in their mouths, as well as everything else (Spence, 2017). In other words, the focus is on the science of the mind of the diner rather than on the science of the kitchen or cuisine (Spence & Youssef, 2018). To date, much of the gastrophysics research has focused not so much on the relationships between the components of the food and perception, but rather on ‘the everything else’, that influence our multisensory food experiences. This includes the role of plateware, glassware, cutlery, multisensory atmospheres, brand touchpoints, food aesthetics, as well as numerous other factors (Spence, 2017). As argued by Moller (2013), though, flavour “is not all in the brain”. For instance, hunger and satiety modulate hedonic perception. Interoceptive states modulate flavour appreciation, and food preferences are shaped by culture as well as education. Gastrophysics should therefore also be thought of as encompassing the study of everything from internal states to cultural influences on food experiences (Laudan, 2013; Visser, 1991).

Furthermore, it has also been suggested that gastrophysics is aligned with biophysics and chemistry, in that it aims to study the complex interactions in the science of cooking (Myhrvold, Young, & Bilet, 2011; Mouritsen, 2012), the physics of food, ingredients, food processing and food technology (Knorr & Watzke, 2019), and aspects of the physical basis for food quality, flavour, appreciation and adsorption in the human body (Mouristsen & Risbo, 2012; though see also Spence & Youssef, 2018).

With this Special Issue announcement, we call for investigations in the field of gastrophysics. Given the aims and scope of the journal, we are particularly interested in papers that incorporate aspects of applied insight and design. In particular, we are interested in works that integrate food design with other disciplinary approaches, such as experimental psychology, cognitive neuroscience, design, marketing, economics, anthropology, and culinary arts, among others, in the context of gastrophysics. As gastrophysics aims to expand our knowledge on the phenomena observed in gastronomy, we are also interested in evidence-based solutions to urgent human and planetary health issues. Our hope is that at the intersection of science and design we can foster awareness, behaviour change, and inspire strategies for innovation. We welcome empirical and theoretical work, as well as case studies documenting initiatives relevant to the field. We welcome research that looks into topics such as:

  • Psychological and physicochemical influences of plateware, cutlery and glassware on food experiences.
  • Multisensory food experiences.
  • Multisensory marketing and food experiences.
  • Digital technologies in the context of gastrophysics.
  • Social aspects of dining.
  • Gastrophysics in the times of self-isolation.
  • Food aesthetics influences on food experience design.
  • Gastrophysics for special needs groups, such as children and the elderly.
  • Gastrophysics to improve health and wellbeing in cases of anosmia (aging populations, cancer patients, etc.)
  • Gastrophysics to promote healthy and sustainable food consumption behaviours.
  • Bringing back Home Economics: Gastrophysics for education.
  • Using gastrophysics to reduce food waste and/or promoting plant-based diets.
  • Gastrophysics and public policy strategies to promote human and planetary health (e.g., solutions in light of the climate crisis).
  • Ethics of sensory nudging in the world of food and drink.


Barham, P. (2013). Physics in the kitchen. Flavour, 2:5.

Knorr, D., & Watzke, H. (2019). Food processing at a crossroad. Frontiers in Nutrition, 6:85.

Laudan, R. (2013). Cuisine and empire: Cooking in world history. Berkeley, CA. University of California Press.

Mouritsen, O. G. (2012). The emerging science of gastrophysics and its application to the algal cuisine. Flavour, 1:6.

Myhrvold, N., Young, C., Bilet, M. (2011). Modernist cuisine: The art and science of cooking. Bellevue, WA: The Cooking Lab.

Møller, P. (2013). Gastrophysics in the brain and body. Flavour, 2:8.

Spence, C. (2017). Gastrophysics: The new science of eating. London, UK: Penguin.

Spence, C., & Youssef, J. (2018). Assessing the long-term impact of the molecular gastronomy movement on haute cuisine. International Journal of Gastronomy & Food Science, 14, 35-44. Visser, M. (1991). The rituals of dinner: The origins, evolution, eccentricities, and meaning of table manners. London, UK: Penguin Books.

Call for papers: Perspectives on Multisensory Human-Food Interaction

Journal: Frontiers in Computer Science


Submission Deadlines

01 September 2020Abstract
01 December 2020Manuscript

Eating and drinking are, perhaps, some of the most multisensory events of our everyday life. Take, for instance, flavor, which is one of the most important elements of such experiences. It is known that flavor is the product of the integration of, at least, gustatory and (retronasal) olfactory cues. Nevertheless, researchers have suggested that all our senses can influence the way in which we perceive flavor, not to mention our eating and drinking experiences. For instance, the color and shape of the food, the background sonic cues in our eating environments, and/or the sounds that derive from the food’s mastication can all influence our perception and enjoyment of our eating and drinking experiences. Activity in Human-Food Interaction (HFI) research has been steadily growing over the years. Research into multisensory interactions in order to create, modify, and enhance our food-related experiences is one of the core areas of HFI. It aims to further our understanding of the principles that govern the systematic connections that exist between the senses in the context of HFI.

In this Research Topic, we are calling for investigations and applications of systems that create new, or enhance already existing, eating and drinking experiences (‘hacking’ food experiences) in the context of Human-Food Interaction. Moreover, we are interested in those works that are based on the principles that govern the systematic connections that exist between the senses. Human-Food Interaction also involves the experiencing of food interactions digitally in remote locations. Therefore, we are also interested in sensing and actuation interfaces, new communication mediums, and persisting and retrieving technologies for human food interactions. Enhancing social interactions to augment the eating experience is another issue we would like to see addressed here.

We call for research that looks into the following topics:

• Using multisensory digital devices to manipulate eating and drinking atmospheres (e.g. color, music) and factors such as food presentation (e.g. size and/or shape of the plate, smell and/or color of the food).
• Collecting user’s responses derived from flavor experiences through digital devices. Tracking behavioral aspects (e.g. tracking movements, eating speed, and facial expressions), and/or using psychophysiological measurements.
• Multisensory experience design, technology, and playful interactions to influence food habits and choices.
• Understanding the role of technology in the social aspects of dining (e.g., social media and food pictures).
• Novel applications of food and technology in different contexts, e.g., during airplane flights or space travel.
• Exploring the role of technology to enhance or otherwise influence social aspects surrounding eating behavior.
• Defining the methods of associating the extended sensory data (smell, taste, touch) with traditional (AV, text) data. Food as data.

Keywords: Human-Food Interaction, Human-Computer Interaction, Multisensory, Food, Technology