A fork that warns eaters if they are gobbling their food too quickly is under development by a French company.
It is one of the gadgets getting attention this week at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, an annual showcase of the latest TVs, computers and other consumer electronic devices.
The HAPIfork has a fat handle containing electronics and a battery. It is made by HapiIabs, which is based in the land of slow, languorous meals.
It contains a motion sensor, so it can calculate when it is being lifted to the mouth. If it senses that you are eating too fast, it warns with a vibration and blinking light. The company believes that using the fork 60 to 75 times during meals lasting from 20 to 30 minutes is ideal.
Between meals, you can connect the fork to a computer or phone and upload data on how fast you're eating, for long-term tracking.
The electronics are waterproof, so you can wash the fork in the sink. If you want to put it in the dishwasher, you have to remove the electronics first.
Nutritional experts recommend eating slowly because it takes about 20 minutes to start feeling full. If you eat fast, you may eat too much. The fork is also designed to space your forkfuls so that you have time to chew each one properly.
But the fork has no clue about the nutritional content of your food or how big your forkfuls are. It cannot tell if you're shovelling lard or stabbing peas individually.