April 1 Alert: Virgin Mobile Canada launches the first ever Mobile SmartStraw™

New Tap N' Taste™ technology serves up delicious digital food experiences

TORONTO, April 1, 2013 /CNW/ - Sure, we all love Grumpy Cat, but foodie pics still reign supreme on our social media feeds. If you start to drool every time you see a pic of something delish, then Virgin Mobile's Mobile SmartStraw™ is the phone accessory specifically designed for you.

The Mobile SmartStraw utilizes the sound from a phone's microphone to stimulate your taste buds. This technology, referred to as "Tap N' Taste", will change the way people use their smartphones and is currently available exclusively to Virgin Mobile Members.

From bacon doughnuts to brunch, you can trick your brain into thinking that you're actually tasting whatever food you're seeing - and craving - right from your Virgin Mobile smartphone.

When the Mobile SmartStraw is connected to the microphone port in your Virgin Mobile smartphone while a food pic is up on your screen, the Mobile SmartStraw app scans the image and pulls its flavour profile from a database of more than 500,000 individual tastes and 100,000 dishes from around the world. It then sends digitally compressed sound waves at more than 35,000 Hz (meaning you can't hear it, but your dog might) in specific patterns that trigger the sensation of taste through sound.

"Most of us have our few guilty pleasures, but health concerns can stop us from enjoying the foods we love - or sometimes we're just too lazy to head to the store," said Andrew Bridge, managing director, Virgin Mobile Canada. "With the Mobile SmartStraw, Canadians can satisfy their cravings without actually eating anything. I tasted pad thai coming up the elevator and wasabi ice cream while on a conference call. The Mobile SmartStraw works so well I'm planning a digital fondue party next week!"

Find Your Flavours

The Mobile SmartStraw gives you a taste of the foods you really want without those pesky calories. Here's how it works:

  1. Download the Mobile SmartStraw app to your Virgin Mobile smartphone

  2. Find a food pic on any web or social networking site

  3. Insert the Mobile SmartStraw into the microphone port on your smartphone

  4. Tap the image on your mobile screen to activate the Mobile SmartStraw

  5. Suck in and enjoy the flavour!

Or, if you're more of a visual learner, visit Virgin Mobile Canada on Pinterest to check out a step-by-step infographic explaining how to use the Mobile SmartStraw.

Foodie Fun

Food lovers will enjoy endless hours of new flavours to help spice things up. Some of the Mobile SmartStraw's exclusive features include:

  1. International Treats: Use your Mobile SmartStraw to try out food options from around the world. Sea cucumber sushi? It's in there.

  2. Plenty of Poutine: What's better than poutine? More poutine! Virgin Mobile has teamed up with Member benefits partner New York Fries for users to taste classic feel-good food like poutine and hot dogs. Log in to virginmobile.ca/benefits to download a pre-selected gallery of tasty pics.

  3. Dinner Time: In the mood for a full course meal? The Mobile SmartStraw recognizes images with multiple food items. Select a multi-food photo and tap on each individual item to try out each flavour without scrolling between images.

The Mobile SmartStraw is available exclusively to Virgin Mobile Members starting April 1st. Head to any Virgin Mobile retail store or virginmobile.ca to pick up a Mobile SmartStraw and start tapping and tasting today!

About Virgin Mobile Canada

Virgin Mobile Canada rewards, entertains and connects like no one else, delivering the super-hot phones on the blazing fast 4G LTE network.  Virgin Mobile Members also get benefits like exclusive VIP access and deals and award-winning service. 91% of Members would also recommend Virgin Mobile to a friend.

The Virgin Mobile group of companies has attracted more than 18 million customers worldwide. Virgin Mobile phones are available at more than 4,000 locations nationally including The Source, Virgin Mobile retail locations and additional retail partners. Virgin Mobile products can also be purchased online or by calling 1-888-999-2321. Get personal with Virgin Mobile Canada on Facebook and Twitter.

SOURCE: Virgin Mobile Canada

For further information:

Cortney Anderson
Virgin Mobile Canada
416. 607. 8412

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