[podcast] Digitized Products Augment Sensory Reality

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"Digital devices can interact with and be personalized for consumers," says Charles Spence, Ph.D., of the University of Oxford. "For example, sensory apps can give consumers better experiences in the home. There’s one from the Stella Artois beer, launched about 18 months ago in the states, that worked with a pop group, The Roots, to create a track to bring out different notes in the beer. This allows users at home to scan their label and play the track, enabling changes to instrumentation in real-time, or changes in the color scheme, to augment and enhance their tasting experience.


"There are many brands working in this space. It’s mostly been in the drinks/spirits area to start, but is crossing into ice cream, fruit juices and teas. One thinks there has to be a scope to this, as well, in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. I just read a paper about sexy music making touch seem sexier. There was sort of a robotic machine whose touch, when paired with Marvin Gaye’s music, felt better. So maybe it could transfer to skin products to make the experience of applying skin care more pleasant. It’s analogous to taste and flavor."

In this seven-part podcast series, sponsored by Berjé, world-renowned experimental psychologist Charles Spence, Ph.D., of the University of Oxford, explores sensory integration in consumer products. (Review Part I and/or Part II, or continue to Part IV.) Our discussion ranges from cosmetic packaging design, fragrance and aroma, to synesthesia, digital tools and more—and how they can cue one another. Click below to listen to the full podcast.