HAPIfork - The Smart Fork

Posted: January 17, 2013

WARNING: Eating too fast leads to poor digestion and fatness. Well. HAPIfork sure has the Appeal to Fear propaganda technique down. Their marketing team must have studied under my grandma. That said, indigestion and fatness are indeed afflictions of which we should be fearful given their tendency to cause everything from acid reflux to heart disease to, worst of all, first-date-with-a-hot-chick gas. (I recommend Odafree pills for the latter.) The HAPIfork steps in to help us gain control of our speed eating, and track our face-stuffing habits.

The HAPIfork utensil, along with a HAPILABS Online Dashboard and mobile app, records its user's eating habits according to "fork servings." A "fork serving" qualifies as each time the HAPIfork moves from plate to mouth. Using this (probably highly scientific and definitely ingeniously named) unit of measurement, the utensil monitors how often we're eating, how long it took us to consume the meal, the number of fork servings we took per minute, and the length of time between each fork serving. In addition to silent data recorder and analyst, the HAPIfork also plays guilt-tripping hall monitor, flashing indicator lights during meals when we're eating too fast.

When ready to face the truth, users upload HAPIfork data via USB to their Online Dashboard for review, and can employ the included HAPILABS coaching program to help improve eating behaviors. The fork's mobile app stores health and fitness progress, keeps records of performance data (sleep, meals, exercise), and enables users to save HAPImoments captured in photos, videos, and inspirational quotes from Maya Angelou.

If you couldn't tell, I am skeptical of the HAPIfork. First, it seems a little gimmicky. Maybe not Japanese Tongue Exerciser gimmicky, but certainly late-night infomercial with Ron Popeil gimmicky. However, my (literally) bigger issue with this fork is that it's freakin' huge! A fork fit not for normal-sized mortals, but for Shaquille O'Neals. Dolf Lundgrens. Christina Aguileras. Kind of counterintuitive to design a utensil that can hold 5 times a typical bite of food given that its purpose is to help people consume less. And I can't even imagine how much it must weigh. 20 pounds maybe? I guess on the upshot, if I took 50 bites I'd probably burn 500 calories using it to eat my chicken & waffles.

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