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    Does the World Really Need Smart Silverware?

    Written by

    Adam Clark Estes

    It's that time of year again, boys and girls. Time for hundreds of gadgets geeks to descend upon Las Vegas for the annual International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and see what kinds of weird crap companies are going to try to sell us this year. Some of the stuff is pretty cool, like this ultra massive tablet computer or the razor-thin 4K TV that's twice as sharp as HD. Other stuff is, well, pretty weird.

    Check out Hapilabs' new "smart fork," the piece of Bluetooth-enabled flatware you never knew you needed. The HAPIfork looks like something a toddler would use to learn how to feed herself and basically aims to accomplish the same sort of task. Inside that clunky handle is a bunch of electronics, including gyroscope that literally keeps track of how fast you're eating and will tell you when to stop. The device connects to your smartphone or computer, where it will download data about your eating habits into "a coaching program to help you eat better and change your eating behavior." It costs $100.

    Thank you capitalism. We now have a device that will teach us how to eat better. The craziest thing about this idea, though, is that people will probably buy it. The burgeoning world of lifestyle gadgets is something of a focus at CES this year as a number of companies are pulling the curtain back on products that turn your life into a data stream. Hapilabs also offers the HAPItrack, which is essentially a very smart pedometer, and the HAPIbutton, a hilarious little gizmo that you're supposed to squeeze "each time you feel a HAPImoment." You're supposed to squeeze it longer to express extra happiness.

    Fitness freaks love these lifestyle devices. Last year, we saw the rise of activity trackers like the Nike+ Fuelband and the Jawbone UP, and a company called FitBit is unveiling a new bracelet at CES that similarly tracks your everything from how far you walk in a day to how well you're sleeping at night. It makes sense for exercise addicts because it gives them all kinds of data to sort through and tweak their workout plans to make the most of their time. Normal people might just like to keep track of all the crazy stats from day-to-day living like some sort of movement journal that writes itself. There are even rumors that Apple's next big product will be a watch that can do all of this stuff and more. Just imagine a GPS-enabled watch that could learn about your daily routine and help you improve it.

    Ultimately, even though these devices sound ridiculous, they could actually be a huge boon for health and wellness. By simply collecting massive amounts of data about people's daily habits, we might be able to find more correlation between certain kinds of activities and certain diseases. The smart fork isn't going to cure cancer anytime soon, but it might just help us understand how we're making ourselves so fat. And anything would be better than this bulimia machine.

    Image via Hapilabs