LAS VEGAS, CES 2013 – After four trips to CES, it’s not often I find a gadget that ambushes me straight out of left field; this one comes from the bleachers. And judging by all the buzz that’s erupted at the show and on the blogosphere about this ungainly Bluetooth utensil variously referred to as the HAPIfork, HapiFork or Hapifork (we went with the latter), I’m not the only one.
The fork — of which only five prototypes exist in the world, two of which were at the show — tracks total meal time, the amount of bites you’ve taken during the meal and the time interval between bites. It registers a “bite” when the tines touch your lips, closing the circuit made through the fork between your hand (on the fork’s handle) and your lips.
If you’re eating too fast, the fork will buzz gently, nudging you to slow down. Data is also uploaded via Bluetooth to your iPhone, or via micro-USB cable to your computer.
Yes, I can tell you have reservations. For one, dealing with soup will probably be a bit of a problem (a spoon is coming at some point). And it’s going to turn anyone using it into a class-A dork (no real way around this one).
Hapifork creator Hapilabs also had another device on display, a little counter called the Hapitrack, that tracks how happy you are by counting how many times you’ve pressed it (you press it when you’re happy).
A writer for the Guardian UK standing next to me thought the idea was very American. Another, from a publication I didn’t catch, just looked at me and shook his head with a wry, I’ve-seen-some-crazy-things-in-my-day-but-this-takes-the-cake smile.
HapiFork likely hits Kickstarter in February at $99, with the goal of shipping in April.
Very interested to hear what our readers think about either of these..