Imagine a world where you could taste any whisky you wanted, instantly, for free, and in the comfort of your own multi-million-pound caravan-home or luxury yachts-vessel. And just picture yourself, if you will, browsing an immense digital library with fine single malts flashing majestically before your very eyes like that bit in Minority Report.
The time is 9pm, the day is today, and you’re sitting in a wingback chesterfield armchair. It’s slightly old – still maintains its shape, but the burgundy leather has become softer and more forgiving. In essence, you’re the mayor of comfort city. It’s liquor o’clock, and Mrs Hammersworth, the nice lady who looks after you, is strapping a slightly cumbersome though thoroughly modern-looking headset onto your face. The device, pictured below, is the groundbreaking “Joculus Snift” – a unique multi-sensory media experience which stimulates four of the five senses with state-of-the-art (SOTA) technology.
The Joculus Snift’s sensory experience will penetrate you in a profound way.
With the headset on, a user interface appears before you, and you navigate a stunningly designed whisky menu with simple hand gestures. What’s more, everything is labelled in the very latest Helvetica Black font (the font of now). To move up or down the menu, you simply make a fluttering gesture with your right or left hand, respectively. Then, to select the whisky you want, you make a fist with your right hand and pump it up and down vigorously. It couldn’t be simpler.
And here’s where it gets really exciting… After selecting your whisky, a series of gentle, lab-tested radio waves stimulate the gustatory cortex – the part of your brain responsible for your perception of taste. Using a landmark discovery in the field of protein synthesis, olfaction is triggered simultaneously. This is known as Artificial Chemoreception (AC) and it’s making waves in the world of haute cuisine already. In fact, Chef Roger Moore from award-winning Tibetan bistro Dharm & Dharma has reputedly bid something in the region of $11m for a year’s exclusive licensing of the technology.
With the flavours and smells digitally engulfing you, an orally inserted tube begins pumping deionised water into your mouth. However, thanks to AC, it tastes exactly like the £100,000 single malt, Dalmore Trinitas, or one of those Macallans with black and white nudey photos on the label.
Meanwhile, the head-mounted Joculus Snift abounds the eyes with stunning visuals. A series of accelerometers and gyros allow for real-time virtual imagery; look down, for example, and you’ll see a slightly calloused, though reasonably manicured hand grasping a glass of whisky. It’s just like real life, folks.
Made in conjunction with Austrian hifi experts BosenHeiser, crystal-clear sound pumps into the ear canals. For a full Scottish experience, there are various Celtic noises playing in the background, such as a recording of Billy Connolly on Parkinson.
One of the so-called eDrammers, yesterday.
We were lucky enough to try the Joculus Snift at WhisKey.0 (The Spirits Technology Expo) earlier in the month, and were quite frankly blown away by it. Sales Director and know-it-all, Ben digitally sampled a bottle of 1946 Macallan, which sold at auction in 2010 for a whopping $460,000. “I looked down and I was holding that beautiful LaliqueCire Perdue decanter,” he said.
“And then I could suddenly hear the mid-game grunts of Andy Murray. It was bananas.”
Jeff McIntosh of spirits blog, Whisky Proponent, predicts this will change the face of whisky drinking, allowing anyone to try any whisky, no matter how rare, expensive or hard-to-get. Simply browse through the whisky library, and download the malt you want!
The Joculus Snift is produced by Joculus Industries, and will be available through Master of Malt later in the year.