HAPIfork, the smart dining utensil we first saw at CES 2013 has finally found its way to Kickstarter and is now available for your backing pleasure. The concept is simple enough: HAPIfork includes some clever tech that measures how fast you're shoveling food into your mouth, and if it determines you're eating too fast, the handle vibrates to remind you to slow down and better enjoy meal. Since eating too fast has been correlated with weight gain -- essentially because the brain can't tell you your stomach is full fast enough -- slowing down can lead to better health and weight control. According to their Kickstarter page:
When we eat by ourselves, we might also be watching television, working, or doing other things. When we eat with friends, we're relaxed and want to have a nice time. Both these situations make it much harder to remain conscious of how quickly we're eating. If, like the vast majority of people, you find that you're eating too fast, HAPIfork can help you slow down.
HAPIfork records when you touch your fork to your mouth, and can tell how long the interval is between each fork serving. If you eat too fast, HAPIfork alerts you with a gentle vibration and indicator light to discreetly remind you to slow down. Over time, these repeated reminders from the HAPIfork allow you to adopt good eating habits.
The data can also be fed into an iPhone app, which like other quantified life technologies, lets you see your progress over time. That hopefully creates both a sense of accountability and of achievement. Gamified eating. (How amazing is it that after spending years building up the iOS and mobile platform, iOS and mobile are now being used as a platform to build up so many other interesting technologies?)
Mobile Nations' own Andrew Carton is working with HAPIlabs on the project, so I've had a chance to see the HAPIfork both at CES and a little bit outside the show. I haven't had the chance to try it out in a real world setting yet, but I've backed it and I'm curious to try it out.
I routinely eat so fast, while surfing, writing, or just impatiently trying to get back to surfing and writing, that some kind of intervention is likely very necessary.
There's a ton more HAPIfork coverage today, if you want to get some varied opinions, and if you decide you want to back it, or just watch the video and read more about it, hit the link below and then come back and let me know -- how much does technology like this interest you?