Since I married a techie early adopter, CES is the topic of discussion every January in our house.
For you non-nerds, CES (Consumer Electronics Show) is the world’s largest annual consumer technology trade show in Las Vegas. This week, 3,100 exhibitors are showing off their newest products, concepts, and services. Every year, my mind is blown away at what new technology is available (and what people will pay for)!
HAPIfork Technology. Photo Source: http://asia.cnet.com/meet-hapifork-the-smart-electronic-fork-62220077.htm
The most unusual product that I’ve seen come out of the 2013 CES is the HAPIfork, an interactive fork that monitors your eating habits. According to HAPILABS’ website,
The HAPIfork gives you precise information about your eating schedule. The HAPIfork alerts you with the help of indicator lights when you are eating too fast. Every time you bring food from your plate to your mouth with your fork, this action is called: a “fork serving”. The HAPIfork also measures:
- How long it took to eat your meal.
- The amount of “fork servings” taken per minute.
- Intervals between “fork servings”.
This information is then uploaded via USB or Bluetooth to your Online Dashboard to track your progress. The HAPIfork also comes with the HAPILABS app plus a coaching program to help you eat better and change your eating behavior.
A fork with an app?!? Multiple studies have shown that the simple act of keeping a food diary can help you lose twice the weight. Pen and paper seems like an easier, cheaper, and less embarrassing way to keep tabs on my forkfuls (I actually use a food diary app on my phone). I prefer apps on my fork and in my belly, not for my fork!
According to HAPILABS, the HAPIFork was originally developed for clinical and medical use against weight gain, digestive problems, gastric relux, and postoperative complications. In a clinical setting, I suppose it would be beneficial to track how quickly a post-op patient is inhaling their cafeteria cake and advise them to slow down.
How is there a consumer market for the fork with an app? The diet and weight loss market in the U.S. is worth over 60 billion dollars. With the steady rise of obesity and desire for a quick fix, there will always be a health/diet fad market. Consumers have fallen for diet gimmicks for ages!
Tapeworm Diet – advertising dated back to late 19th century. “Eat, Eat, and Always Stay Thin!”
Vintage Ad for Tapeworms. Photo Source: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_e_mi6Tnpamc/TBqVp7WDHnI/AAAAAAAAAF0/Np4F-XIjR_c/s1600/vintage-ads-diet.jpg
La Parle Obesity Soap – on the market in 1903. “Absolutely guaranteed to reduce fat without dieting or gymnastics!”
Vintage Ad - Obesity Soap. Photo Source: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-z0RipeD81RM/Tf68LBb-BEI/AAAAAAAAAVA/puIY_rEQUh0/s400/obesity%2Bsoap.jpg
Lucky Strike Cigarettes – advertising cigarettes for weight loss to women in 1929. “To Keep A Slender Figure, No One Can Deny… Reach for a Lucky Instead of a Sweet!”
Vintage Ad - Lucky Strike. Photo Source: http://leibold.com/boldpost_images/lucky_strike.jpg
Hawaii Hula Chair – As Seen On TV Product launched in 2007 – “If you sit, you can get fit!”
Hawaii Chair - Watch the full infomercial on YouTube
Blue Shade Glasses – released in Japan in 2009. “The tinted shades calm the excitation of the brain when the wearer is confronted by fattening food.”
Blue Shade Glasses. Photo Source: http://www.bookofjoe.com/images/2008/03/24/4vbhgsh.jpg
There is a market for any product. It just takes time and talent to develop a successful marketing strategy that identifies who to chase after and determines how to best allocate your marketing budget.
KMK Communications Manager