Musical ice cream cones point to future brand experience

Brands looking to engage consumers and create memorable experiences, could one day look to products which have multisensory components

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Musical ice cream cones have been used to mark World Ice Cream Day, a first for multisensory experiences, which could point to a way for brands to develop future consumer experiences.

Researchers from Monash University and RMIT have developed WeScream!, a sensory ice cream cone that plays different sounds when eating ice cream, adding a multisensory layer to the ice cream experience.

Credit: Exertion Games Lab/Monash University

Project lead and director of the Exertion Games Lab in Monash University’s Faculty of Information Technology, professor Florian Mueller, said the technology encourages playful social eating experiences and offers a whole other meaning to sensory dining experiences.

“Our research found that WeScream! facilitated an enjoyable experience for participants eating together, whilst also increasing their awareness and attention to the taste of the ice cream,” Mueller said.

WeScream! offers a digital upgrade through sound which stimulates both happiness and playfulness, and acts as an additional component or ‘ingredient’ to the dessert, enhancing the sensory experience.

It combines human-computer interaction technology and consists of two interdependent 3D printed ice cream cones that allow users to interact with musical sounds or their preferred playlist, which is generated through the act of eating ice cream together.

Credit: Exertion Games Lab/Monash University

During the study, researchers examined how 10 participants experienced the different auditory interactions made possible by their eating habits. The system generated multiple sounds by connecting the act of eating and listening as part of a social multisensory experience.

Mueller noted it has sparked the interest of chefs and mixologists looking for innovative, exciting ways to enhance the dining experience for customers. “The technology is relatively affordable to create and we hope to see WeScream! making an appearance in the hospitality industry relatively soon,” he said.

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