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Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Fork That Helps You Lose Weight!

HAPILABS introduces HAPIfork (and spoon) smart utensils, brings metrics to your mouthfuls (hands-on)  Hands-on

HAPILABS introduces HAPIfork and spoon smart utensils, brings metrics to your mouthfuls

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.

Check out the CNET video below for more information.

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