News: a fork for dieters that vibrates when you eat too much or too fast is one of the most talked-about launches at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week.
Created by Hong Kong-based gadget company HAPILabs, the HAPIfork helps users lose weight by reminding them to eat more slowly. The idea is that the slower you eat, the faster you feel full, so it's easier to eat less.
Sensors inside the fork count the times it travels from plate to mouth, and eating too fast causes it to gently vibrate and flash its lights. The device also works out the start and end time of the meal and the number of forkfuls eaten.
Information about food intake is transmitted via Bluetooth to a smartphone or via USB to a computer, and then collected in a personal online account so users can track their progress.
The HAPIfork mobile app allows users to comment and add pictures, while there are also plans for an online game that lets users follow their friends' progress too.
The fork comes in five colours and is part of a set of devices from HAPILabs designed to monitor your health, including an activity tracker that clips onto a belt.
Following its launch at the Consumer Electronics Show this week, HAPIfork will launch on crowdfunding website Kickstarter in March. HAPILabs hopes to make the device available to the general public later in the year.
Other unusual forks we've featured on Dezeen include a fork with letters on its prongs and another that clips onto a knife and spoon to make a table sculpture – see all our stories about tableware.
Here's the full press release from HAPILabs:
Las Vegas, NV – January 7, 2013 – HAPILABS, a company aimed at helping individuals in the 21st century take control of their HAPIness, health and fitness through applications and mobile connected devices, today introduced the HAPIfork at CES, the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Designed by French engineer Jacques Lepine, HAPIfork, the world’s first smart connected fork, knows how fast you’re eating and helps you slow down using a patent-pending technology. By eating slower, you will improve the way you feel after every meal, enhance your digestion and reduce your weight. This smart electronic fork which comes in five fun colors, is part of suite of devices, applications and services from HAPILABS aimed at improving your overall health, well being and happiness.
How HAPIfork Works:
When you are eating too fast, HAPIfork sends you gentle vibrations and indicator lights so you are aware of when you’re not eating at a pace that is optimal for your health. In an unobtrusive way, the smart fork helps you slow down without a disruption to your meal or conversation.
The HAPIfork contains an electronic key with a printed circuit that links the extremity and the handle of the fork. Because the fork is in contact with only two parts of your body: your mouth and your hand, the device is successful at counting the number of fork servings during a meal. HAPIfork monitors the following activities:
» The exact time you start and end time of your meal.
» The amount of "fork servings" taken per minute and per meal.
» The specific duration of each "fork serving" interval.
» Your overall meal duration.
All of your HAPIfork eating data is transmitted to a personalized online account when you connect your HAPIfork to your computer via USB or your smart phone via Bluetooth. This flexibility means you can monitor your eating habits and health improvement at home or on the road from a mobile device.
You can choose to keep this information private or share some or all of this data with friends and family who are supporting you, your health and lifestyle.
By helping you eat more slowly and improve your eating behavior, HAPIfork can help you:
» Lose Weight: Satiety is only felt roughly 20 minutes after a meal, so the faster you eat, the more you eat. It stands to reason that the slower you eat, the faster you feel "full", supporting your goal of taking in less calories during each meal.
» Reduce Digestive Problems: By slowing down your eating pace and chewing for longer, you can take better care of your digestive track, which is agitated when you eat too fast.
» Decrease Gastric Reflux: The slower you eat, the less likely you will suffer from gastric reflux after a meal, which is growing at an alarming rate in the United States and Europe.
The medical community widely supports the importance of eating more slowly since a series of scientific studies highlighted many negative effects related to eating meals too quickly. References for these studies can be found on SlowControl.com.
Product Specs & Availability:
The HAPIfork is part of a complete suite, with add-ons to help you migrate to smarter eating habits from the first day you use it. The product’s estimated retail pricing is $99 and includes:
» HAPIfork (available in one of five colors: blue, green, black, white and pink).
» Online Dashboard: stores and reviews your eating-related data and helps you track your progress meal after meal.
» Mobile App: allows you to follow your stats and enrich your HAPIfork entries with comments and pictures.
» Online Coaching Programme: provides tips and tricks on how to eat smarter and healthier, including helpful, practical advice and balanced meal plans.
» Online Social Game: designed to motivate you to implement these new healthy habits with your loved ones.
HAPIfork will start shipping in early Q2 2013 for Kickstarter backers (USB connection only) and to the general public in both the U.S. and France in Q3 (Bluetooth connection) with distribution to other countries later in 2014.