Unlike the article on the portable stomach pump, this next gadget is more of a gimmick and even less helpful. Meet the HAPIfork, the latest invention from HAPIlabs displayed this past week at the CES. The HAPIfork, according to their website, counts everything that a normal fork does and displays it in a helpful way. By measuring how long it takes to eat a meal, how many bites it took, and how fast one finished the meal, the inventors claim that it can lead to understanding how one eats can lead to weight gain or loss. According to their website, if one wants to lose weight, they need to eat slower and chew longer. After one finishes a meal, they can upload their data to their PC or the HAPIlabs smart phone app, where the data is redisplayed in a number of formats and graphs.
There are some immediate flaws in this design though, as there is no mention of how to calculate what kind of food one is eating, how it was cooked, how much of it is on the plate, and several other factors such as age, weight, height, and type of meal. One could assume one hundred bites of grapes is not equivalent to one hundred bites of cake, but the HAPIfork doesn’t discriminate in this aspect. If it does, the website needs to clarify this point. But then again this is the same company that is inventing the HAPItrack, an electronic companion that is supposed to motivate one in keeping active by tracking data and giving the user encouraging messages. The HAPItrack even comes with the trademarked HAPIbutton, which does nothing else but record when and how long hold the buttons, accompanied by a pleasant sound.
According to the ‘HAPIscience’, by training oneself into pushing the HAPIbutton during happy moments in one’s life (on a daily basis), it gives the user an extra boost of serotonin into their bloodstream to keep the user happy, stress-free, and motivated. While this is a better replacement to say, illicit drugs or alcohol, the likelihood of this actually replacing one’s bad habits (or lack of good or bad habits) seems slim to none, unless one really enjoys pressing a button. And having a robotic voice for motivation. One thing that might seem to have some benefit though, is their HAPIwatch, which has very little information released about it so far. Stated on their front page, “The HAPIwatch is an electronic watch that monitors your sleep and stress patterns. You wear it on your wrist like an ordinary watch, and it measures your heart rate.”
This writer can see a multitude of benefits from such a device, especially for those who are diabetic, have sleep apnea, heart conditions, or pregnant. It is known that the amount of sleep one has adversely affects weight gain as well, so there’s that. None of these products are for sale yet, but they are taking preorders for the HAPIfork and HAPItrack, assumed to be released for sale around April 2013 as HAPIlabs has a counter in place on their website to track how many times the HAPIbutton is pressed with a mention of it starting in that month. Now one knows when they can start looking for reviews.