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Sunday Star-Ledger

Making Technology Easier to Swallow

Gone are the days when taste testing involved a few minutes of tasting and jotting down the results with a little yellow pencil.

Computers are on that scene too and instead of writing, testees are clicking on icons and scrolling down computer screens.

That's what Sensory Computer Systems is banking on. The East Hanover-based company has designed a computer program that full automates sensory testing operations.

It's called Sensory Information Management Systems and it integrates all phases of sensory testing, including design, execution and analysis functions, into a software program.

"SIMS 2000 increases productivity in every step of the sensory testing process," said John Ream, managing director.

"Every major consumer company in America has some kind of sensory market staff. A company can use this technology to get into any observation of the five senses. If you want to know how your advertising is working you can use SIMS."

The software allows users to work in an easy question-and-answer format. Menu and pop-up lists simplify complex user choices.

And when the testers are done, the data is collected and put in the form of statistics and graphs.

Prices start at about $10,000 per system, depending on how many people are going to be tested, Mr. Ream said.

The technology has been used at companies like Nabisco Biscuit Company in East Hanover, Warner-Lambert Co. and Avon.