Remind Me Not to Buy This Fork That Keeps You From Eating

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This gizmo gets my prize for most horrifying/fascinating thing to come out of the Consumer Electronics Show.

HAPPYFORK.jpg

This gizmo gets my prize for most horrifying/fascinating thing to come out of the Consumer Electronics Show, which is exploding all over Vegas right now. It's a fork that vibrates when you're eating too quickly. It's called a HAPIFORK (HAPPYFORK!).

Here's AllThingsD's Mike Isaac limning its importance in the history of the world:

Say hello to Hapifork, the electronic utensil that aims to keep you slim enough to fit into your jeans. It keeps track of the way you eat, literally giving you a little vibrating jolt if you're shoveling food into your mouth too fast.

Yes, this is what it has come to: Selling utensils that are practically shock-collar sporks, aimed at barring us from eating too much delicious food.

I would note that Isaac forgot that the gadget's name would be pronounced, "Happy fork!" (Or perhaps I am just imagining the exclamation point and the babytalk voice.)

But seriously: this thing generates a lot of data for a fork. Here's the Hapifork site itself:

Every time you bring food from your plate to your mouth with your fork, this action is called: a "fork serving".

The HAPIfork also measures:

  • How long it took to eat your meal.
  • The amount of "fork servings" taken per minute.
  • Intervals between "fork servings".

I find that switching on Runkeeper is actually helpful for maintaining a given pace. Would this fork help me eat at a healthier rate? Maybe. But I don't think the tradeoff is worth it. 

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Technology Channel. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer calls Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science Web site in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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