Photo Credit: hapifork
If you’re one of the millions of people who bites more than you should chew, then you’d probably be interested to learn about this new high-tech utensil.
The HAPIfork is a digitalized fork that monitors how much you’re shoveling into your mouth and will alert you — via vibration — when you’ve gone overboard. As stated on the company website: “Every time you bring food from your plate to your mouth with your fork, this action is called: a ‘fork serving.’ The HAPIfork also measures: How long it took to eat your meal, the amount of "fork servings" taken per minute, intervals between ‘fork servings.’” Eat too many fork servings in a row and prepare to get zapped. This information is then uploaded via USB or Bluetooth to your online page on the company’s site, a.k.a. the Online Dashboard. The company, HAPILABS, also provides an app, which offers “a cross-device platform that monitors daily activities (physical fitness, meals, relaxation, sleep)” and a coaching program.
It’s no secret that eating too quickly can lead to overeating since most experts agree it takes about 20 minutes for the “I’m full” signal to go from the belly to the brain. And overeating, naturally, leads to weigh gain. Also, eating to the game of Beat the Clock can also result in digestive issues, like gastric reflux, indigestion, heartburn and an old-fashioned stomachache. But is the vibrating queue a little too much?
Joanna Stern, the Personal Technology columnist for the Wall Street Journal, tested the $100 HAPIfork for two weeks, and her computerized eating experience has made her think twice before she picks up. “Two bites within 10 seconds and the fork will reprimand you with a buzz of the tines and a blinking red light. The vibration is quick and painless — think electric toothbrush. Separate your bites by 10 seconds or more and the fork stays quiet and blinks green to show approval.”
I’m personally all for any gadget that can safely encourage healthier eating habits. If you wouldn’t mind a battery-charged fork that continuously blinks and buzzes, go for it. Only problem is, some of the worst foods are eaten with your hands — chips, ice cream, chick wings French fries…Maybe they’ll come out with a HAPIglove next.