Does the very idea of a smart fork amuse you? It sure amused me, but it's a very serious piece of new tech at CES 2013 this year. It's a small part of the personal health tech market that has seen some tremendous growth over the past few years.
HAPILABS made a huge splash at CES with its HAPIfork, a smart fork whose goal is to help the user lose weight. Its main function is to track "fork servings" - the action of bringing food from a plate to the mouth. Using the "fork serving" as a unit of measurement, it tracks the following:
The end goal of the HAPIfork is to help users eat slowly. HAPILABS says that a person will feel full after 20 minutes, regardless of if they ate a lot or just enough. Thus, the fork will help users slow down so they get enough food to be full, but not overeat like so many of us do. It also helps the user learn to properly chew food all the way to prevent extra load on the digestive tract. Doing so apparently helps cut down on gastric reflux disease, a food lover's bane.
As for the tech itself, the HAPIfork houses a small USB stick and Bluetooth transmitter. With the USB stick, a user can upload their eating stats to the HAPILABS Web site to keep track of their eating habits over time. It can also upload the information to your profile via Bluetooth using the mobile app for iOS, Android and Windows Phone.
The fork is already winning awards at CES, and for good reason. The health technology sector hasn't been that interesting lately as most of it revolves around technologies that help those who are already health conscious. The HAPIfork has the potential to help those who haven't even thought about getting healthy yet by hiding all the technology in something as simple as a fork.[h/t: Telegraph]