"Reality is in your mind," Professor Michitaka Hirose says. And he's convinced that changing the minds of dieters will help them to lose weight.
We previously reported on efforts at the University of Tokyo to fool users' senses and make them feel more satisfied with less food. Now, they're taking it a step further with new "diet glasses" that trick the wearer into seeing bland snacks as chocolate biscuits.
"How to fool various senses or how to build on them using computers is very important in the study of virtual reality," Professor Hirose said.
Standard virtual reality equipment often results in bulky equipment when it tries to incorporate touch, Hirose said. So he decided to fool the senses to find a way around the problem.
Hirose's team developed a "meta biscuit": In this project, the headgear uses scent bottles and visual trickery to fool the wearer into thinking the snack they are eating is a chocolate or strawberry-flavoured biscuit.
Hirose said experiments so far have shown 80 percent of subjects are fooled.
The team has no plans as yet to commercialize the invention, but would like to investigate whether people wanting to lose weight can use the device.