Look Ma! I’m a Cyborg

Rani Molla at GigaOm has written a great blog post about the Wearable Man, focusing on everything from Google Glass — that allow you to do anything you normally would with your phone or laptop without using your hands — to fitbit and other health-related devices.

It’s becoming more true every day: computers aren’t things in a room that you visit (or are trapped in); they’re tools you can adapt and use in order to create your best self.

And where does the HAPIfork belong in this new ecosystem of personal tools? While we don’t wear our fork (!) if we have just the one special fork, we are going to want it with us at all times, ready to go… right?

Good news: the HAPIfork will come with its own compact case. And, in those situations where you eat but don’t have ready access to a way to clean off your fork before you return it to your case — remember, HAPIfork can go into the dishwasher — you can bring hand wipes, including these iHerb wipes that are designed for edible food. 

The HAPIfork is not only a tool that can train you to change your behavior without you really needing to focus on anything in particular, it’s also something that can help you if you DO want to focus on something in particular! The HAPIfork collects information about how fast you’re eating, and how much you’re eating. You can watch over time as you adapt to the tool, and even slow down further than HAPIfork wants you to. You can compare that with how and when you exercise, and how much you sleep. You can learn when you have your own particular challenges, and develop specific strategies to affect them.

We’ll be providing more detail on how to use the technology to meet specific goals in future posts! At HAPILABS, we are dedicated to helping you get wherever you want to go.

Remembering What Really Matters During a Kickstarter Campaign

by Renee Blodgett

I remember being in the offices of a renowned mobile and software company ten or so years ago after having lunch with the CEO. They had just completed an IPO and as we walked into the main office space, increasingly becoming overcrowded with cubicles, he noticed how many employees were watching the stock price on their screens.

With me trailing behind him, he abruptly stopped and addressed his teams with a sense of urgency that surprised me. He said in a bold voice: “I don’t want to see you starring at numbers on your screen all day – spend your time doing whatever you can to make our existing customers happy.”

Hear hear. At the start of the HAPIfork Kickstarter campaign two days ago, I found myself obsessed with checking the screen constantly, even during meetings. The addictive nature of a campaign that has $$’s attached to it is impossible to ignore. After day two, I stopped and returned to a quick check every other hour, as a way to quickly check the progress but not be consumed by it.

That said, a campaign of this nature takes on a life of its own. After four hours, the Kickstarter HAPIfork campaign was 10% towards reaching its $100K goal and on day three, we are at 42,544 at the time of writing this blog post.

Here’s a glimpse of my addictive screen grabs on Wednesday and Thursday.

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Screen Shot 2013-04-17 at 7.00.00 PM

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We’re off to a great start and kudos to the HAPILABS team, which is operating across five time zones. Please support us on the Kickstarter HAPILABS page so we can make inventor Jacques Lepine’s dream come true.

Here’s a sample of the fabulous media coverage since our campaign hit two days ago…..

  • CNET – Donna Tam |
    4/17 | HapiFork: Vibrating novelty or health revolution?
  • Cult of Android – Eli Milchman |
    4/17 | Hapifork Tattles To Your Phone About How Much You’re Eating [Kickstarter]
  • Engadget – Christopher
    Trout | 4/17 | HAPILABS launches HAPIfork Kickstarter campaign, we go hands-on and
  • Fodors: http://www.fodors.com/news/best-new-travel-tech-for-2013-6387.html
  • Forbes – Larry Magid |
    4/17 | A HAPI Meal That You Eat Slowly
  • Fox – New York – Luke Funk | 4/17 | Fork vibrates when you eat too quickly
  • Fox 10 TV – Alabama – Lenise Ligon | 4/17 | HAPIfork; Bluetooth enabled fork
  • Health 2.0 News – Laura Montini | 4/17 | An Afternoon with the HAPIfork
  • International Business Times – Esther Tanguintic-Misa | 4/17 | Problem Controlling Weight Gain? Curb It With Hapifork…
  • Mashable
    Chris Taylor | 4/17 | Hands On With the Fork That Tells You to Eat Slower
  • Medical Daily – Susan Scutti | 4/17 | Vibrating Forks to Help You Lose Weight? The Unusual Intersection of SmartProducts and Crowdsourcing
  • Nature World News – Tamarra Kemsley | 4/17 | ‘Smart’ Fork Vibrates When You Eat Too Quickly
  • Science World Report – Kathleen Lee | 4/17 | Don’t Put Your Fork Down, HAPIfork Vibrates if You Eat Too Quickly
  • Slash Gear – Craig Lloyd | 4/17 | HAPIfork
    Kickstarter campaign officially launches
  • TechCrunch – Gregory Ferenstein | 4/17 | Eating Fast Is Destroying Your Body. The HAPIfork’s Buzz Can Help
  • The New Zealand Herald – AFP | 4/17 | Would you buy a vibrating fork to stop you getting fat? 
  • The Washington Times – Jessica Chasmar | 4/17 | Obesity battle gets French weapon: Forks that vibrate on quick eaters
  • TUAW
    Mike Schramm | 4/17 | HAPIfork Kickstarter campaign goes live
  • Ubergizmo – Hubert Nguyen | 4/17 | HAPIfork Starts Crowdfunding on Kickstarter
  • Venture Beat – Rebecca Grant | 4/17 | World’s first connected fork could help you eat healthier, slower, and less
  • Wall Street Journal – N/A | 4/17 | HAPIfork Now Available for Pre-Order on Kickstarter
  • Xconomy
    Wade Roush | 4/17 | Testing Kickstarter’s Appetite for a Digital Fork and ‘Positive Punishment’ 
  • Boot Camp – Fred Fishkin |
    4/18 | HapiLabs opens Kickstarter campaign for the HapiFork
  • Financial Everyday   –
    N/A |
    4/18 | HAPIfork Now Available for PreOrder on Kickstarter
  • Gearburn – Bianca Budricks |
    4/18 | Is HAPIFork a dumb fad or smart new eating tool?
  • Gizmag – Dave Parrack |
    4/18 | HAPIfork smart fork hits Kickstarter
  • Health Care Asia – AFP | 4/18 | Vibrating Fork Helps Combat Obesity
  • CBS Radio & Larrys World
    Larry Magid | 4/18 | HAPIFork Helps You Eat More Slowly
  • NBC – Bay Area – Scott Budman |
    4/18 | ‘HAPIfork’ a New Tech Diet Tool
  • NBC News – N/A | 4/18 | HAPIfork Now Available for PreOrder on Kickstarter

40% of Kickstarter Goal in Two Days!

Amazing! Thank you so much for all you’re support!

We’re over 40% of the way to our goal in only two days!

In fact, many people have asked us how they are supposed to order multiple forks. So we went ahead and added three more Pledge Levels:

  • HAPI Couples – 2 forks for $175 ($87.50 per fork)
  • HAPI Family – 4 forks for $350 ($87.50 per fork)
  • HAPI Team – 10 forks for $850 ($85 per fork)

If you have already ordered a HAPIfork and want to change and order more, you can press the blue button on the top right “Manage Your Pledge.” On the next page, switch by clicking the circle next to the pledge level you now want. Scroll to the bottom and press “Continue” and follow the prompts from there.

Any questions, please ask on Kickstarter or email support@hapilabs.com!

It’s Your Lunch – Enjoy It!

I asked one of my close friends to try out the HAPIfork. He’s a very gracious yet highly “go-getter” person, a Type A Driver VP of Sales, well over 6 feet tall who puts away a high-energy, big man’s amount of food. I sincerely wondered whether the fork vibrating as he ate quickly (er… very quickly) would make him want to chuck the fork across the room.

His response was that it was definitely annoying. He wasn’t sure what to do when it vibrated – I suspect he was eating so quickly that he couldn’t slow down enough for it to wait 8 seconds between bites. (The forks that are for sale will have adjustable intervals.) But he added that he liked the idea of slowing down mid-day, of really enjoying his lunch. He felt it was something he cherished that he didn’t always remember to do.

I like the idea of slowing down and smelling the roses in the middle of the day.

It was he who suggested “It’s your lunch – enjoy it!” Because it was his lunch, and — even someone who hates being held back by anything or anyone — extracting all the value he possibly could from his lunch was very appealing.

As it turns out, Larry Magid had the same type of experience.

HAPIfork Dissassembled

The prototypes have been in the hands of some of the more lucky HAPILABS staff, and that includes me!

How the Fork Works

In short: pretty simply. I turn it on by depressing a button at the base. Then I eat with it, just exactly like using a regular fork. It vibrates if it goes into my mouth more frequently than its setting (currently 8 seconds). If it vibrates, I wait a little bit before the next bite to make sure that it doesn’t vibrate again. Mostly it just reminds me, “Another forkful already?”

My Experience So Far

First, yes of course I’m biased! But I’ll give you my impression and you can decide to be as skeptical as you wish.

Well as it turns out, I think odd things! For example, one time when the fork vibrated I caught myself thinking “NO – wait! That’s not fair! That last bite was tiny – I have more room in mouth….!”  And then I realized, “Oh just hang on, the point is not to stuff as much food into my mouth as fast as possible after all, is it?” Hmmmm.

HAPIfork dissassembled

The HAPIfork comes apart easily for washing.

It feels a little bit like what I guess my roommate’s dog experienced during clicker training. I don’t really have to work hard at being mindful, because the fork reminds me to be mindful at a visceral level, like body awareness. Of course I get my rewards when the fork does NOT vibrate, so it’s not exactly the same. So it is like the fork is training me to be more mindful automatically. I know that sounds like a paradox, but so it goes.

The Fork

So many people have asked about cleaning the fork that I have a photo here of it disassembled. The outer casing is dishwasher safe.

The inner part of the fork slips out easily.

I also am a picky person when it comes to the weight of the utensil. I  was a little bit concerned about the circumference, but despite the fact I have small hands (I’m just under 5′ tall, or 1.51m), it was fine to eat with and I liked the weight.

Yikes! HAPI-imposters!

We’re everywhere, except a few times, it’s not us! There are contests and competitions – there are even people posing as us on Twitter! (wow!)

So, let’s be clear:

In general on social media, we’re HAPILABS. That’s on facebook, pinterest, and youtube as well as other social media sites as scoop.it, google+, and others.

Any other sites are set up by other people and are outside our control. If you have any questions, please add in the comments. I’ll update as we find things that are confusing, but again – contact us if you have questions. feedback@hapilabs.com

Get your HAPIfork – Kickstarter launch

It is with great HAPIness that I am finally, FINALLY able to let you know how to order your own HAPIfork! As many of you have guessed, suggested, or actually heard, we’re raising funds on Kickstarter.

GO NOW if you want to buy one, because I the first 2500 people get a discount! Then watch our video, because frankly it’s informative AND adorable.



P.S. Did you see us on the news? Is your part of the world talking a lot about the HAPIfork? Add it in the comments!

HAPIfork Takes On Austin Texas During SXSW

Posted by Renée Blodgett

HAPIfork, which has taken on a mind of his own, decided to embark upon Austin during South by Southwest (SXSW) with Andrew Carton and I. He made a few interesting stops along the way and had quite a few encounters, starting with a little saloon action in the lobby of the Driskill Hotel. We were in Texas after all.


Then he headed to the Rackspace party where he met Travis.


A little more Western cowboy and rope action along Fourth Street.


When the bartender at Eddie V’s Steakhouse remarked on his color, shape and design, he asked the chef to write Congratulations across the top of our dessert plate in delicious chocolate. It isn’t quite HAPIfork’s birthday yet, but he wasn’t displeased to see the surprise. Nor btw, were we.


It’s hard for HAPIfork to stay away from a dinner table, after all, it’s one of his favorite places to hang out.


Even the guys at the Connected Health booth on the SXSW Convention Center floor said hello to HAPIfork.

Light connected fork

There were even a few musicians who got into HAPIfork, after all, we don’t need to tell you how fabulous great music is with fabulous food…and the slower you eat, the more present you can be with those tunes.

Musician with hapifork (1)

What’s not to like about him?

Austin outside music scene sxsw (1)

He kept returning to the Hotel Driskill night after night since he loved nestling himself up against that incredibly historical statue in their lounge area as he listened to live music play till late.


HAPIfork even went to support Jen Limm, CEO of Delivering Hapiness and others at a HAPPINESS panel, because after all, he believes like the rest of us do, that eating slower and taking time with your meal equates to a more fulfilled, healthier and happier life after all. He was thrilled to hang out for a stint with Jen albeit short.

Happiness panel (3)

Alas, HAPIfork was sorry to say goodbye to Austin but excited to be visiting more cities, towns and great restaurants in the near future.

Mindful Eating Means Eating Less

Posted by Jessica Margolin

It turns out that you don’t even have to concentrate hard to reap the portion control benefits of mindfulness!

At HAPILABS, we’ve recently been talking about some work done at Cornell’s Food and Brand Lab by Dr. Andrew Geier, Dr. Brian Wansink and Dr. Paul Rozin. It’s a paradox: you can be both mindful and mindless at the same time.

The idea of this research was to figure out how to stop mindless snacking by introducing mindfulness without having to fundamentally overhaul someone’s eating behavior. The researchers did a simple experiment: they brought students in to watch a movie, and served them tubes of Lays Stackables, some of which contained chips dyed red at regular intervals.

Cornell food and brand lab Brian Wansink

Cornell Food and Brand Lab Director Brian Wansink. Photo Credit: Robin Wishna

Some people had tubes with no red chips at all, and others had a red chip at every serving size, and another at every two-servings. So there were three types of potato chip tubes: one with no red chips, one with a red chip every 7 chips, and another with a red chip every 14 chips. (There was a second experiment to verify and expand on the first with the no-red-chip tubes, and then tubes with red chips every 5 chips and every 10 chips.)

As it turns out, college students can go through a lot of chips! But when they ran across the red chips, they stopped. In fact, the students who encountered red chips ate about 50% less than their peers without red chips. And more than that, the ones who had red chips were very good at estimating how many total chips they ate. Their estimates were off by less than one chip, compared to the group without red chips – they underestimated by over a dozen, nearly a third of the total chips eaten!

Think about it: Being “off” when you guess how much you eat by nearly ⅓ is like thinking you are taking in a daily dose of 2000 calories, but it’s really 3000.

In one class, the divider chips were simply dyed red and students were told the chips were left over from a past experiment. In the other class, it was a tomato basil chip and students believed they were participating in a study to test food companies’ new flavor-mixing strategy.

There was a plausible reason given for finding the red chips, but the students didn’t know that they were being tested on consumption. Yet, the wider the spacing of the red chips, the more people ate.

Original Publication: Red potato chips: Segmentation cues can substantially decrease food intake.