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Crossmodal Interfaces Affective Computing Service Design

GustaCine is an innovative cross-modal cinematic experience that allows viewers to experience and savor cinematic moments through the gastronomic pleasures of multi-flavored popcorn. GustaCine alters the flavors of popcorn in real-time with the use of evocative seasonings. Each seasoning is carefully crafted to respond to emotions represented on screen. Through the unique interplay of flavors and emotions, GustaCine creates an authentic signature of the movie narrative, leading to an enhanced appreciation of food and heightened mindfulness of textures and tastes. The experience contributes to the sustainable food-service design and richer cinema-watching experience.

Made with by Rohit Ashok Khot & Jung-Ying (Lois) Yi

Research Publications

Rohit Ashok Khot, Jung-Ying Yi. 2020. GustaCine: Towards Designing a Gustatory Cinematic Experience. Proceedings of the Fourteenth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction (TEI'20), ACM, pp 757-770.

Duration: 2 months
Duration: 3 months
Field Study
Duration: 6 months

GustaCine in action.


Popcorn has been an essential and enduring ingredient of the cinematic experience since moving pictures began. Its contribution to cinema’s economic viability has been widely recognized with some saying that its presence has assured an otherwise declining cinema industry. While the value of this iconic item has received limited attention from designers, there is, also, in general, a dearth of innovation in the space of food-cinema service design. GustaCine addresses this gap by delivering a radical culinary interpretation of cinematic moments onto the palate, thereby allowing viewers to literally consume movies in real-time.


Over the last 10 years, the number of people attending cinemas in Australia has dropped by 14% while viewing options at home has increased rapidly—from streaming and HD videos to cable TV. Going by the trend, in the future, cinemas will need to be “much more attentive to changes in people’s taste about what they want from an experience”. 4D and 5D cinemas are examples of active commercial endeavors to address this need. GustaCine builds on this trend by creating an innovative and engaging symbiosis of gastronomic and cinematic experience. Its potential benefits include mindful eating while watching; richer cinematic experience and; a better partnership between food delivery services and media industries.


Movie Merchandising has long been the economic long tail (from toys through to ship cruises). From Star Wars onwards, branded products and services have offered audiences mechanisms by which to maintain their loyalty while creating unique memorable experiences associated with their cinema-going activities. GustaCine has the potential to offer a completely new class of movie branding and merchandising. Chefs and cinema artists can contribute to the flavor-emotion mapping and expand the palate of GustaCine to other foods besides popcorn.


The authors make a compelling, logical and historically-grounded case for adopting popcorn as a ‘base’ for gustatory cinematic experiences, and have designed and engineered an attractive prototype device to explore this idea.

Annoymous Reviewer

ACM TEI 2020