The Smart Fork: Lose Weight the Tech Way


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How many forks do you have that can remind you when you’re eating too quickly? Image by HAPILABS

Ever wondered how fast you really eat? Packaging tells you the number of calories food has and the amount of protein, carbohydrates, and fat, but not the amount that you really consume or the speed at which you consume it. The Smart Fork, created by Jacques Lepine and developed by HAPIlabs, is a new invention that will let you know if you’re eating too much too fast!

Lepine created the Smart Fork after his wife told him off for eating too quickly. No matter how much he tried, he found that he lost his focus on eating slower. He developed the fork to constantly remind him to enjoy his food and allow a longer time between mouthfuls. Renee Blodgett, a spokesperson for HAPIlabs, told Decoded Science that the fork took about five years to develop, from the initial idea to the current final product.

Smart Fork: How It Works

The technology behind the Smart Fork, called HAPIfork, monitors how often you take mouthfuls. It uses a sensor that determines when you pick up food with the fork and when you eat from it. It also records the time between these actions and the next mouthful in order to know if you are eating too quickly.

If you eat too many mouthfuls within a minute, the fork will start vibrating and light up. The vibration alert is at a similar strength as the vibration of a phone. It is the fork’s way of reprimanding you for not enjoying your food and not leaving enough time between mouthfuls. HAPIfork representatives explain that eating too quickly can cause weight gain and poor digestion. However, the recommended number of mouthfuls per minute is unclear.

HAPIfork Monitors Eating Patterns

Users attach the HAPIfork to a HAPIfork account and then upload the data to their account after each meal, either manually via a USB connector or over Bluetooth. The program tracks all of the uploaded data so users can see if there is a pattern in their eating or whether certain foods cause them to eat quicker than others. They can also share their tracker with others.

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