As you are probably well aware, I’m not a great fan of “tricks” or “gadgets” that provide a quick, painless way to achieve weight loss goals, but if something works and is harmless, I’m game. Enter HAPIfork. A new technology in a special fork that controls your eating habits.
Similar to an electric toothbrush, HAPIfork is a project initiated by a French designer, Jacques Lapine, who had a traumatic incident in early adulthood when he suffered what he thought was a heart attack but which was finally diagnosed as something similar to acid-reflux, but primarily caused by eating too fast.
Lapine’s company, HAPILabs, has since developed a special fork that contains innovative software that records how fast you eat your food, and if the speed is too fast, a vibrating response that is uncomfortable to the touch is produced to encourage you to slow down. The process seems to work when used properly although there are ways to get around the method such as picking the food off the fork and putting it into your mouth with your fingers. The software works through what is called capacitive touch sensitivity, the same principle with which your cellphone screen detects the presence of your finger. Every bite in every meal is recorded and analysed over time to produce a report of how fast you eat and what can be done to slow you down.
At present, the project is still in the Kickstarter development stage which at first glance appears to have been successful. Devices will be sold for around $99 each and there are plans to design the software to work in conjunction with your Smartphone where real-time reports can be accessed so that immediate correction to eating habits can be made. The principle that people who eat slower consume fewer calories is a huge part of HAPIfork also.
In order to help weight loss habits, the elapsed time between bites can be preset into the device. For instance, lengthening the time between bites to 20 secs from 10 secs helps with digestion and appetite responses which can determine how much food is consumed at one sitting. The product has already won an award at the last Consumer Electronics Show for innovation so there is obviously potential here. The question for me, is does it work. My answer is I don’t know. I guess anything that helps control food consumption, and helps focus our attention on what’s necessary when it comes to the whole principle of dieting, is a benefit.
I have to admit though. I can probably find a bunch of things that I can spend $99 on before I’d spend it on HAPIfork.