I've been impressed by many of the new products introduced at this year's CES, but a few have left me scratching my head. Frankly, I'm not sure how to feel about the HAPIfork. Essentially a "smart utensil," the device regulates intervals between "fork servings" through an internal sensor that knows how long it has been since your last bite. If you eat too quickly the fork gently vibrates to slow you down, times your entire meal and counts the number of servings per minute.
To what benefit, you ask? HAPIlab's founder, Fabrice Boutain (who also owns France's popular Aujourdhui.com nutrition and fitness website) cites studies showing that eating too fast causes weight gain, digestive problems and gastric reflux. By regulating your pace - and wirelessly uploading the data to an accompanying mobile App and website which track your progress - the HAPIfork supposedly promotes healthier eating in a unique and innovative fashion.
Does it work? Too soon to tell. But in a city where council members voted 14-0 to promote "meatless Monday," Angelinos will likely be prime customers who give it a try.
LA-based design and innovation expert Joel Delman is serving as LA Observed guest blogger covering CES 2013 from an LA and Southern California point of view. Joel is creative director for Product Development Technologies. He received his Master of Industrial Design from Pratt Institute, his JD from Harvard Law School and his bachelor's in economics from New York University.