An Afternoon with the HAPIfork

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On an afternoon this week I gathered with the HAPILABS team along with fellow tech reporter Wade Roush at a small coffee shop in San Francisco.

We were there to eat. But to eat in moderation. They placed in front of us a carrot cake, and a coffee cake and another cake. And in front of them were forks, or the utensils that were supposed to keep Roush and I from over indulging.

“So what’s the fork actually do?” Roush asked.

HAPIfork, created by HAPILABS, looks just like a normal fork but with a slightly heavier handle. It’s electronic and it’s supposed to give you a little “bzzzzz” when you eat too quickly. Not an electric shock … Just a little vibration.

“So it’s basically punishing you for having taken a bite too soon,” Roush said laughing.

Andrew Carton, who is president of HAPILABS USA, said the fork’s job isn’t to admonish.

“The HAPIfork is not there to tell you how fast you should be eating. It’s only there to let you know when you’re eating too fast, and it’s a big difference between the two because I don’t want something to tell me how I should be doing something,” Carton said.

“I want something to help me do something that I set out to do. In this case eat less quickly.”

Over table talk, inventor of the HAPIfork, Jacques Lépine, told us that he had experienced health issues that were associated with his eating habits in the past. His family kept telling him to take it easy.

HAPILABS says that using the fork can help with weight loss and digestive issues. But an added benefit is the reminder to just slow down.

“Everything around us is happening so quickly and some of the things that we do should not be going quickly, should be going in reverse, and hopefully this is a step in the right direction,” Carton said.

HAPILABS just launched a fund raising campaign today on Kickstarter. All who are interested in becoming early users can now claim their fork.

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