New Invention Alert: The 'HAPIfork'

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This new utensil from HAPILABS buzzes when you eat too fast

Wikimedia Commons/ ArnoldReinhold


The Consumer Electronics Show takes over Las Vegas every year at this time, and it’s a place where wide-eyed inventors can show off their newest creations. There are always a few food-related electronic inventions that come out of the woodwork, and this year is no different, for this year, there’s the Smartfork.

Click Here for 10 Food and Drink Inventions We Didn't Need Slideshow

The fork, developed by Hong Kong-based HAPILABS, buzzes when you eat too fast and is intended to help people lose weight by slowing down their rate of eating. According to The Huffington Post, the fork "counts each bite you take and tracks your average meal time, the number of bites per serving, and the number of bites per meal where you were 'overspeeding,' or bringing the fork to your mouth too quickly."

After you finish eating, you can sync the fork with your smartphone or computer (never thought we’d be writing those words!), and it gives you all the data collected during the meal. You can also track your progress, keeping it private or choosing to share it with the HAPIfork community.

Unfortunately, you’ll need to slow down eating sandwiches, pizza, and other hand-held items without the aid of a fork.

The future is now: The 10 gadgets that will change your life

From talking forks and smart clothes — the future of technology as seen through the eyes MIT Media Lab scientist David Rose is about making the computer personal.

Decades after their invention, computers look roughly the same. Though they’re smaller and more portable, we still click, type and stare at flat screens.

But not for long, Rose argues in his new book, “Enchanted Objects: Design, Human Desire and the Internet of Things” (Scribner), which supplies his own research to argue that people desire direct interaction with technology.

“Screens fall short because they don’t improve our relationship with computing,” he writes. “The devices are passive, without personality. The machine sits on idle waiting for your orders.”

Rose believes that we really want magical objects straight out of the Harry Potter universe: “flying carpets, talking mirrors, protective cloaks, animated brooms.”

But in the meantime, we’ll have to settle for talking garbage cans and weather-forecasting umbrellas — both of which (plus eight others listed here) are already at least in prototype phases, if not already on the consumer market:

1. The umbrella that forecasts the weather

A piece of furniture that speaks to us — that’s the definition of Rose’s vision for the future with enchanted objects. The Ambient umbrella communicates with its owner through a series of patterned blue lights that indicate if the forecast calls for rain.

Armed with your ZIP code, a wireless receiver at the handle of the umbrella connects to AccuWeather and then glows and pulses a gentle blue light if the weather looks frightful. This battery-powered umbrella is on the market — but it’s a lot more than the cheap $3 model on every street corner. This one will run you $125.

2. The home that transforms at your command

Two-hundred square feet seems impossibly small, even by New York standards — but a new MIT-designed micro-apartment called CityHome that can transform a 15-by-15 space into an exercise area, lounge, study, kitchen, and sleeping area, hopes to change all that.

The apartment is controlled by wall-mounted devices that resemble a clock. Just pick a time of day and the room morphs into the space you want. For example: “Once out of bed, his room moves into exercise mode: The bed lifts away into the ceiling, the floor space clears, and a full-wall, live video projection of a yoga studio starts.

“When he wants to study, a desk descends from the ceiling, the lights brighten and the drapes close. If he has friends coming over, the space clears out for chairs and a cocktail table. At night, the bed emerges.”

Though not currently on the market, CityHome is currently seeking funding and hopes to enter the market soon, according to its website.

3.The trash can that orders groceries

Another prototype developed by Rose and colleagues, this piece of “ambient furniture” makes for some magical garbage. The Amazon Trash can has a tiny camera and a bar code scanner that records everything you throw away — from household cleaning supplies to milk cartons — and sends the information to, where it is immediately reordered and shipped to you. No more grocery lists.

A second prototype that is being developed comments on your eating habits and grocery picks with choice statements like: “Third box of Oreos this week?” or “Microbrew, all right!” or “Blueberry juice, loaded with antioxidants.”

4. Know when someone is looking at your picture

An example of “reciprocal presence,” the LumiTouch picture frame enables the feeling of closeness, even for those continents apart. Inspired by long-distance relationships, it comes with two linked frames. When one person is near the frame, the background light of the corresponding frame glows. When one user touches the frame, it lights up in the area where the other user touched it. The color shifts in response to how hard and how long you grip the frame.

A similar product is the Like-a-Hug jacket, developed by MIT’s Melissa Chow. This puffy vest inflates every time someone “likes” us on Facebook — whether we post a picture of our babies, a status update about the food we’re currently eating or a political rant.

This, the designer says, allows us “to feel the warmth, encouragement, support or love that we feel when we receive hugs.”

The Like-A-Hug jacket is not for sale — but Rose envisions other examples of this haptic, or touch-based, technology might one day be: a phone that gets heavier as your voice-mail messages pile up, a shoe that nudges your feet to walk in a specific direction or a wallet that gets harder to open once you approach a spending limit.

5. A bike that pedals for you

The Copenhagen Wheel, announced at the 2009 Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change and initially developed in an MIT lab as a research project, contains a motor that transforms a normal bike into a hybrid electric vehicle. The device consists of a motor and battery pack that snaps onto the back of the bike. As you pedal, the wheel captures excess energy when going downhill or braking and then helps propel you up steeper inclines or harder terrains.

The wheel can also connect to the Internet, using it to record speed and distance traveled, find friends throughout the city, inspect air quality and even notify you if the bike starts to move when you’re not in the seat. In the mood to use up more calories? Using your smartphone, you can also vary the level of powered assist.

This reinvented wheel, listed for $799, is available for pre-order and will be out by the end of this year.

6. The camera that records your entire life

The slogan — “A new kind of photographic memory” — says it all. This pedometer-size camera called the Narrative Clip attaches to a jacket or shirt or on a necklace and records high-resolution geo-tagged images every 30 seconds without prompting. You can now track every moment of your day.

“Imagine what you’ll learn, what you’ll remember,” Rose writes. “Who was that guy I met at the airport in Singapore? What was that delicious dish we shared sometime around September of 2013? If you record long enough, you will end up with a visual record of (the rest of) your life.”

But constant self-monitoring comes at a cost. The Narrative Clip comes with a subscription service — and at $279 per year, you’d better be making some worthwhile memories.

7. The onesie that monitors your baby

High-tech helicopter parent, this one’s for you.

The Mimo Baby Shirt measures infant respiration, skin temperature, body position, sleep patterns and activity levels. The organic (of course) cotton onesie is fitted with machine-washable sensors that can be monitored in real time through your home’s Wi-Fi network. It also includes a microphone, so that you can stream your baby’s sound to your smartphone, and the accompanying app allows you to crunch analytics about your baby’s sleep patterns.

Originally marketed to medical device development companies, they had a direct-to-consumer eureka moment when parents began contacting them to use their sensors, and, according to their website, they “haven’t looked back since.”

For $299 — a package that includes three onesies that come in only one size for infants up to 3 months — you can pick up one of these at your local Babies “R” Us.

8. A coffee table that eavesdrops

Imagine sitting with a friend over coffee and telling her about your recent trip to Italy. Voila! Pictures of the trip suddenly emerge under your mugs. When you mention the delicious gelato you tasted near the Pantheon, the corresponding picture flashes on the table as you speak.

Billed as an “instant photo album,” the Facebook Coffee Table uses real-time speech analysis to pick up keywords from your conversation to pull up relevant Facebook feed photos.

Rose is currently fine-tuning the design for a major hotel chain to function as a self-service concierge. The hotel table will feature nearby events, restaurant suggestions and displays about traffic and weather.

9. The house that tracks your kids

The “telepathic” Google Latitude Doorbell, another product developed by Rose and colleagues, lets you know where your family members are and when they are approaching home. The data about each family member’s whereabouts comes from Google Latitude — transmitted from a smart device — but is communicated only as ambient doorbell chimes, a unique one for each person.

This has a pretty adorable origin story. Rose came up with the idea by merging the sound effects in “Peter and the Wolf” (a song for each character) and the Harry Potter series’ Weasley family clock, a magical device that keeps tabs on each child.

10. The fork that helps you lose weight

Introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2013, Hapifork made the jump from MIT research project to consumer household item in an impressively short amount of time. Perhaps it’s because we all want to lose weight — but we want someone or something else to do the hard work for us.

The chunky, $100 fork, which comes in five colors, alerts you with a gentle vibration when you are eating too quickly. It also measures, using the tines of the fork, how long it took to eat your meal, the amount of “fork servings” taken per minute, and the time between servings. All this information is uploaded — more self-monitoring data — for your own enjoyment or horror, depending on how you eat.

Rose says this is an impressive start, but within the next five years, he anticipates something more draconian: “Imagine an actual tooth replacement that responds to chewing action and is able to sense texture, temperature and chemical content of food and drink,” Rose writes. “In dire circumstances, it magnetically clamps onto the tooth above so you cannot continue to eat.”

'Precise temperatures'

Henrik Otto, Electrolux's vice-president of design, told the BBC: "There is still a lot of technology that hasn't become the everyday property of consumers, such as induction cooking."

It uses alternating electric current to produce an oscillating magnetic field that then heats up a ferromagnetic pan. It is a faster, more energy-efficient way to heat food than the traditional gas burner or electrically heated coil hobs.

"This allows for very precise temperatures," says Mr Otto.

The latest induction hobs include automatic pan recognition, which means the zone will only heat up once it has recognised that a typical saucepan shape has been placed on it.

This prevents smaller metal objects, such as spoons or bottle openers, getting hot if they are left on the induction zones.

But Mr Otto believes the technology could be applied more extensively.

"What if your entire counter top or table incorporated induction technology?" he asks. "What if it could be used to power your other appliances?"

As populations grow and compact urban living becomes the norm, "rooms will have to morph throughout the day and our technology will have to multitask", he says.

"For example, a living room coffee table could also be an induction cooktop that then charges your laptop overnight."

How a Single Appliance Made Americans Better Cooks

At the end of the 1960s, the kitchen counters of bougie gourmands in America displayed two appliances: the blender and the stand mixer. Together, they could take on just about any recipe the nation’s prevailing cooking gurus—Francophiles like James Beard, Julia Child, and Craig Claiborne—would ask of the home cook: crepe batter, gazpacho, brioche, hollandaise. But in 1971, a retired MIT-trained physicist and amateur gourmet named Carl Sontheimer, a man with the curious look of a hulking, mischievous elf, was to radically transform the American kitchen for decades to come.

At 57, after a career filled with patented inventions and the launch of three electronics companies, Sontheimer and his wife, Shirley, traveled to France to ponder what was next. At a housewares show in Paris, Sontheimer paused before a demonstration of the Magimix, a home version of the Robot-Coupe, the clunky industrial blender-slicer-grater-kneader-chopper introduced by French inventor Pierre Verdun in 1963. Sontheimer signed a deal to distribute a version of the Robot-Coupe in the United States, modified for Americans.

Peppering Robot-Coupe’s engineers in France with endless queries, Sontheimer tinkered for a year and a half, adding a heavier top, honing the design of the blades and slicing discs, and lengthening the feeder tube to reduce the risk of shredded fingers. (“That machine gave me the horrors,” Sontheimer once recalled of Verdun’s French original. “It was totally unsafe.”) In January 1973, at the National Housewares Show in Chicago, Sontheimer unveiled his baby, with a name he borrowed from a line of fancy French pots and pans he’d already been hawking around the country through newspaper classifieds: the Cuisinart. With its double aura of aspiration and panache, it was the perfect name. (And apparently not a copyright issue by 1976, Sontheimer had gotten a trademark for the name from the U.S. Patent Office.)

With a retail price of $175, the Cuisinart was shockingly expensive. By contrast, a top of the line 14-speed blender cost $35 in 1973 a decent stand mixer was $40. Yet perhaps this was part of the appeal Sontheimer hoped to land one of his machines in the kitchen of every American cook with means, the kind of well-heeled fan who subscribed to Gourmet and wouldn’t miss a Wednesday night episode of The French Chef for the weekly gorging on Julia. “He knew he had a gem,” says Carl Jerome, Beard’s assistant in the 1970s, “and if he played his cards right, he could make this the next blender.”

Sontheimer’s opening gambit was to win over Beard, Child, and Claiborne, who together had immense powers of persuasion over America’s home cooks. So he gave them free machines, of course, but was also genuinely kind and naturally charming. Plus, having grown up in France (Sontheimer’s father was an American executive stationed in Paris), he spoke their culinary and cultural language—and even sent Claiborne recipes from rare, old French cookbooks in his collection, a gift from one gentleman gourmet to another. He also had an instinctive grasp of the power of exclusivity in luxury branding. By limiting the number of retailers to basically two—Williams-Sonoma in San Francisco and Bloomingdale’s in New York—Sontheimer made the Cuisinart an aspirational appliance for many Americans. (So much so that in the early 1980s, the U.S. Justice Department charged Sontheimer’s company with price-fixing after it refused to supply machines to retailers offering Cuisinarts below the suggested price. The company pleaded no contest and paid a settlement.)

In a 1973 column syndicated in newspapers around the country, Beard called the Cuisinart as “necessary as a good stove.” Jerome says getting one of the first machines was a big deal to him. “He liked being the one who introduced it to the food world—it pumped up his ego and his public image.” Meanwhile, Julia hauled her newly indispensable bone-white-and-oyster-gray model to cooking demonstrations around the country. In 1976, her longtime friend and assistant, Rosemary Manell, became the first instructor to offer a whole cooking class devoted to the machine, a sign that some had acquired a Cuisinart as an object of kitchen-counter status, without knowing what the hell to do with it. (“A lot of people who own the machine seem a bit wary of it,” Manell told the New York Times.)

Beard and Jerome put together a spiral-bound recipe booklet, with guest contributors including Marcella Hazan, Madhur Jaffrey, Simone Beck, and Jacques Pépin, that came free with every Cuisinart. “It has been heralded from Boot Head, Maine, to Eureka, California,” wrote Claiborne—with only slight satirical exaggeration—“as perhaps the greatest food invention since toothpicks.” Sontheimer’s charm offensive had worked.

Ironically, the Cuisinart would help make the old guard of culinary experts—the same ones who argued for the food processor as a kitchen essential—passé. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, American culinary magazines, newspaper food sections, and the Great Chefs TV cooking series anointed restaurant chefs as the new stars of the kitchen, younger and more dynamic than Beard, Child, and Claiborne. Meanwhile, many home cooks who’d become comfortable with the Cuisinarts on their counters were ready for new challenges. And while these home cooks were unlikely to have a restaurant’s battery of carbon-steel knives, heavy-duty mandoline slicers, and copper saucepans, they probably had a food processor—some version of Pierre Verdun’s original invention—in common. A Cuisinart gave kitchen amateurs both the machine power and the confidence to take on sexy nouvelle cuisine dishes, from Paul Bocuse’s fish sheathed in potato scales to Michel Guérard’s pear soufflé, with a vast, sludgy river of emulsified vinaigrettes and baba ganoush in between. The success of Cuisinart helped propel a trend that had begun in the 1960s, of affluent Americans cooking for entertainment and self-expression. By eliminating the drudgery of handwork, the machine made cooking for pleasure an option for anyone who could afford one, “a hobby,” Claiborne wrote, “to be ranked with other indoor sports.”

By the early 2000s, a new kind of self-expression in the kitchen—one emphasizing simplicity and tradition—challenged the status of the food processor as essential. “Pounding,” wrote Alice Waters in 2010 about making pesto in a mortar and pestle, “is more fun than flipping a switch.” By then, cookbook authors like Judy Rodgers, Grace Young, and Paul Bertolli had been urging home cooks to unplug and invest in good knives, a well-made wok, and an old-fashioned crank-handle food mill—tools newly burnished with the kind of status Carl Sontheimer’s miracle machine once had.

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Arkansas Aging

Hello everyone,
Dr.Dickerson shared his recent copy of Arkansas Aging with me. It is a great publication designed specifically for those of us in the "senior" category. I was pleased to see it is larger print than a normal newspaper and it covers events of interest state wide. I will summarize a couple of articles for you in the next few days.

The issue has a list of helpful toll free numbers:
Medicare 800-633-4227
Medicaid 800-842-1141
Volunteer Lawyers for the Elderly 800-999-2853
Senior Insurance Network 800-224-6330
Telemarketing Do Not Call List. 888-382-1222
Arkansas Attorney General Consumer Protection 800-482-8982

Have a great day!
Until tomorrow,
Dr.. Janet

This Kitchen Tool Makes Healthy Cooking That Much Easier

I remember the exact moment I was introduced to the Benriner mandoline, a.k.a. the tool that changed the way I cook. I was 16, cooking on the line alongside a much wiser cook named Tamar Adler (who went on to write An Everlasting Meal). After spooning warm brandade onto toast, she pulled out her plastic, mint-green mandoline and slid a fennel bulb against the blade. The bulb gave way immediately into feathery, sheer wisps—the visual and textural topper I didn’t even know the dish needed. A decade, five restaurants, and three test kitchens later, I can say without a doubt that, after my chef’s knife, the mandoline is the tool I reach for most. With a swipe against the blade, vegetables that are otherwise a pain to prep turn easily into uniform slices. Raw fibrous beets are transformed into translucent disks. Carrots become paper-thin ribbons. A mandoline takes your cooking to a whole new aesthetic level (now you know how chefs make salad look so good). And the minimal Benriner—its design practically unchanged since its invention in Japan in 1940—is easy to use, affordable ($30!), and sharp as hell. A mandoline isn’t just more efficient than a knife. It does things no knife can do.

Some tips on using your mandoline: When the blade gets dull, just unscrew the knobs on either side of the mandoline to remove the blade and swap it out. You can also use the knob on the flip side to adjust the thickness of the slices—from razor-thin garlic to thicker potato rounds for a gratin. And make sure you hold whatever you're slicing in your palm with your fingertips out of the way—this blade is sharp!

We Discovered the New Kale, and It's Literally Everything

Last week the Wall Street Journal ran a story with the headline “Broccoli Rabe Is Trying to Be the New Kale.” This gave frankly too much credit to the vegetable—actually it’s broccoli rabe’s allies in the industry who are making the effort, on broccoli rabe’s behalf. Its partisans feel that the vegetable, also known as rapini, has not gotten its due. “So many other cruciferous vegetables are popular,” said the marketing manager from D’Arrigo Bros. Co., which sells most of the broccoli rabe in North America under the brand name Andy Boy. “Why can’t ours be more popular, too?”

Get in line, rapini marketer. If you Google the phrase “the new kale,” on the first several pages of results you’ll find the following nominated for that lofty, leafy role: Brussels sprouts, watercress, moringa, seaweed, cauliflower, chickpea water, crickets, spirulina, quinoa, avocado, matzoh, dandelions, BroccoLeaf™, freekeh, and contra dancing. (No accounting for taste!) Epicurious said tahini’s “the new kale.” Elsewhere acupuncture is the new kale. So are eggs. Beets. Medicinal mushrooms. Goat. Lard.

Whither cabbage? I bristle at its rejection. Whole Foods tried to make collards the new kale, though some considered this bad politics: “food gentrification,” according to a thoughtful article at Bitch Media, where writer Soleil Ho worried that the upscale chain's embrace meant "divorcing the vegetable from its working class and indigenous affiliations" by rendering it just another expensive superfood. In fact the kerfuffle generated a bigger conversation about food and appropriation. But spare a thought for whatever Whole Foods marketing team dreamed up this campaign—how could they have predicted so much pushback to this most meaningless of phrases? If everything is kale, then nothing is kale. The unbearable lightness of being kale. From kale to eternity.

It’s a rough business, though. One day you’re triumphant Tom Hiddleston, the next you’re mopy John Mayer. In the same week that broccoli rabe became the new kale, Natalie Jacewicz, a writer at NPR’s food blog, The Salt, came out hard against celery. “Celery: Why?,” read her plaintive headline. (Perhaps she missed last year’s story declaring celery “the new kale.”) The poor vegetable, Jacewicz wrote, “packs a puny six calories per stalk and—in my opinion—about as much flavor as a desk lamp.” More damning still, she quoted the president of the Michigan Celery Promotion Cooperative comparing poor celery—approvingly—to classic rock.

In short: Celery is out, broccoli rabe is in, and kale remains mired in an unremitting identity crisis that is perhaps best illustrated by the article I found that named cavolo nero as the new kale. At first I was perplexed, as of course cavolo nero is the new kale—cavolo nero is kale. It seemed a bit tautological until I realized that we've actually exhausted all the other options and kale has become, finally, the new kale. It was only a matter of time. Kale is a flat circle.

Panic Buttons Disguised As Jewelry Call 911, Send Alert

BOSTON (CBS) – Walking around in Boston now feels unsettling for some, after two women were recently kidnapped from nightclubs.

“It’s terrifying especially in a city where young people are walking around all the time,&rdquo said Christine Emery.

“It just reminds you to be safe,” said Erin Picone.

Several years ago, Rajia Abdelaziz encountered a threatening situation.

“A car of guys drives by and rolls down the window,&rdquo said Abdelaziz. &ldquoThe car stopped and one of them started getting out.”

It inspired her and fellow UMass Lowell grad Ray Hamilton to create panic buttons disguised as jewelry that call 911 and alert loved ones. They officially launched InvisaWear last summer.

To demonstrate, Hamilton went outside the office and quickly pressed the button twice to call for help.

Inside, my phone sounded an alarm and received an alert that showed his location. A notification can go to up to 5 people.

“I was definitely scared,&rdquo said Jenelle Valdina who recently survived car crash.

Jenelle Valdina holds her InvisaWear jewelry (WBZ-TV)

Valdina used her alert necklace in a different emergency. She was involved a nasty crash that badly injured her leg. Hitting the button brought her dad to the scene within minutes.

“I could start really feeling the pain and I just heard my dad’s voice,&rdquo said Valdina. “I felt a little safer, content.”

Her aunt originally bought her the jewelry following the kidnapping of a woman from a Boston bar in January. &ldquoSo if we were ever in that position we would have another life-line,&rdquo said Valdina.

Swineapples Are a New Food Trend, and We Don't Know How to Feel

If you like your sweet pineapple with a side of salty, smoky meat, you're in luck. We present to you the internet's latest culinary obsession: swineapple.

The premise of this new food trend is simple: first, a whole pineapple is trimmed, hollowed out, and filled with pork. Then the pineapple is wrapped in a weaved blanket of bacon. The resulting creation is grilled for several hours, and voila! A swineapple is born.

(Now, we know how controversial the idea of pairing pineapple with meat can be. President Gu∂ni Th. Jóhannesson of Iceland went so far as to say that he would ban Hawaiian pizza if he could—and was promptly shamed on the internet for igniting a culture war between pro–pineapple pizza folks and those vehemently opposed.)

Using the grill to cook this delectable salty-sweet feast-within-a-feast is really where the idea all comes together. Grilled pineapple is already the perfect summer treat, whether used as a dessert, in a salsa, or, yes, served alongside grilled fish or poultry. And wrapping everything from chicken and dates to pork loin and trout with bacon is, of course, nothing new.

According to Mashable, the swineapple was first created in 2015 when Facebook user John Bush posted a photo to a meat-smoking group page (though his version was placed in a smoker, obviously, and not on a grill). It seems like 2017 is seeing a resurgence of the invention. But if you ask us, there's never a wrong time to throw some bacon and pineapple on the grill.

Watch the video: New Invention Technology That Are On Insane Level 10 AHHA! Technology

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