How smart is your fork? We wager not smart enough. Enter HAPILABS and the HAPIfork which brings your cutlery kicking and screaming into 2013. The basic concept is an eating tool that measures three metrics -- how long you eat for, how long between each mouthful and how many of them you take. It uses the data to give you feedback on your eating habits which can be viewed online via a sports-tracking-style web interface. There is, of course, a brace of companion mobile apps too for Android and iOS, allowing you to track your eating habits on the go. The fork has another trick up its sleeve too, which is that when it thinks you're eating too fast, it'll vibrate when you put it to your lips to let you know to slow down, cowboy. The current model has a USB connection to pipe the info up to the web apps, and there is a Bluetooth-enabled version on the way. The firm let slip that there was also a spoon version (which is effectively a different attachment for same smart innards) in the works. The serious aim here is to get folk to think about how they eat, and there's a 21-day training plan included to get you on the right path. If you want to smarten up your dinner set, it'll cost you $99 for the USB only version which launches in Q2 this year. The Bluetooth unit comes later in 2014. Take a slow bite on the PR after the break.
The units themselves feel like weighty travel utensils at first, but don't feel too light or cheap. The brains of the machine are hidden inside, and the end cap is where you'll get access to the USB connection. The handle sheaths are entirely removable for easy cleaning. There is a feedback light at the end which will go green when you're good to eat, and go red (as well as vibrate!) should you be packing the food in too fast. The inclusion of a social gaming element, as well as the rather more sober element of the online metrics remind you that, while this might not be the cheapest fork in the world, there really is every chance it's the happiest.
HAPILABS introduces HAPIfork (and spoon) smart utensils, brings metrics to your mouthfulsSee all photos
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Sean Cooper contributed to this report.
HAPILABS Introduces HAPIfork at CES,
World's First Smart Fork That Helps You Lose Weight
by Eating at the Right Time and Pace
HAPILABS' New HAPIfork Monitors How Fast You Eat & Helps You Slow Down;
Supports Your Health & Well Being While Improving Weight Control
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 Lépine, 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.
Benefits of using HAPIfork:
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 Program: 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.