HAPIfork, Vibrating fork to promote eating slowly
It has become common knowledge that after 20 minutes your brain tells you to stop eating because you are full. Thus the idea is you will eat less if you eat slowly. The HAPIfork is attempting to physically enforce this rule to promote weight loss in addition to “decreasing acid refl ux, obesity, and diabetes.”1 The HAPIfork is a key part of the HAPILABS suite of products bridging health and fitness with technology. Their motto is “Eat Slowly. Lose Weight. Feel Great.” The HAPIfork has an “electronic key with a printed circuit that links the extremity of the fork and the handle of the fork.”2 When the tines (or prongs) of the fork touch your mouth, the circuit is closed, tracking both the number of bites and how long it takes you to eat. The fork allows you to eat one bite every ten seconds (although this setting can be changed). If you exceed one bite, the fork vibrates or LEDs blink, physically telling you to slow down. In addition to telling you to slow down, it tracks how long you have been eating. This information can be retrieved from the fork via USB connection or the fork can be linked to a mobile device with Bluetooth.“In essence this is a fork with an engorged handle, containing a host of electronics, including a Micro US connector, capacitive detection, a vibration pack, two LEDs, all of which are powered by a 3.7 V lithium polymer battery.” The fork charge lasts 15 days and is waterproof. In order to run the fork through the dishwasher at high temperatures, the electronic key can be removed from the handle. At CES, HAPILabs demonstrated the fork with a spoon attachment, coming soon. The idea is to train your behavior. According to CNN, “HapiLabs subscribes to the theory that it takes 21 days to create a habit. If you use the fork consistently for 21 days, it should retrain you to automatically eat slower at all times.”1
1. Kelly, Heather. “‘Smart Fork’ May Help You Lose Wieght.” CNN Tech. 19 April 2013. Accessed 11 Sept. 2013.
2. Frequently Asked Questions.” HAPILabs. Accessed 11 Sept. 2013. <http://www.hapilabs.com/faq.asp#non>.
3. Holloway, James. “HAPIfork: The Smart Fork that Monitors Your Eating Habits.” Gizmag. 10 Jan. 2013. Accessed 11 Sept. 2013.