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"Smart" Fork Vibrates When You Eat Too Quickly

Apr 17, 2013 01:54 PM EDT

In the fight against obesity, there's a new weapon: the vibrating fork.

Dishwasher-safe and Bluetooth enabled, the gadget can read the time between bites of food and should bites speed up to a certain point, alert the user by vibrating in his or her mouth.

Called HAPIfork, its inventors herald it as the world's first smart fork, citing its ability to average a person's fork servings per minute and meal, overall meal duration and the exact time the meal started and ended.

Knowing this, the team believes, will help people manage the speed at which they eat and in turn a healthy weight.

Other benefits to eating slowly include a decrease in indigestion and heart burn as well as discomfort due to gas that can result from swallowing too much air. Furthermore, because chewing is the first stage of digestion, chewing for a longer period of time enable the enzymes in a person's saliva to better break down the minerals in the food. This in turn leads to better absorption of needed nutrients.

Finally, by eating more slowly, people are more likely to eat less, according to the North American Association for the Study of Obesity.

After a person has completed the meal, he or she can then upload the information either via bluetooth or a USB cable. Information is provided in easy-to-use charts and graphs and features, among other things, a "success rate" percentage.

The fork's designers and manufacturers, HAPILabs, was founded in 2012 and, according to their site, are dedicated to inventions designed to increase the physical and emotional wellbeing of their customers. Among its products is the HAPIbutton, which was manufactured to restore balance between adrenaline and cortisol as well as serotonin and dopamine by naturally supporting the production of the latter.

Those looking to preorder a HAPIfork can do so here.

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