Can an electronic fork help you lose weight? It sounds like a goofy idea. But the folks at Hapilabs were seriously pitching their electronic HAPIforks today at the CES Unveiled showcase at the beginning of press events for the Consumer Electronics Show today in Las Vegas.
This is about as offbeat as you can get at CES. But the idea has me intrigued. Tons of companies are coming up with health-tracking devices that measure your physical activity. The Basis Health Tracker can measure your heart rate and your sweat levels when you exercise, giving you feedback on how hard you are working out. But it cannot measure how much food you eat, and so it can’t tell you whether or not your physical activity is enough to offset your caloric intake.
This is one of the great unsolved problems of the era of the “quantified self,” where we measure everything we do and then crunch the big data that comes from all the sensors. But we can’t put sensors into our stomachs. Hapilabs can’t do that, either.
But chief executive office Fabrice Boutain says Hapilabs can collect interesting data, such as how many bites of food you have taken. It also track the frequency with which you take bites. It also records your eating schedule.
“My mother always told me that I ate too fast,” Boutain said. “Now you can tell.”
If you are eating too fast, the fork will vibrate gently, telling you to slow down. Various indicator lights give you other data. You can upload the data via USB or Bluetooth to your web site where you can look at an online dashboard.
Hapilabs hopes to come out with a fork later this year at a price of about $99. It is also launching fitness tracking devices, dubbed the HAPItrack. It’s all part of a fitness system, including a mobile app and a web site for tracking your steps, sleep and meals. Hapilabs offers you coaching advice about the data. Hapilabs’ PR woman said the item was so popular with the media at the show that broadcast producers were fighting to be the one to shoot the Hapi fork.