Easygoing gadgets: Alarm-equipped fork 7 years ago

Easygoing gadgets: Alarm-equipped fork

Here at JOE, we're all about inventions that have been designed to make life as stress-free as possible. So here's a fork that... counteracts obesity?

By Emmet Purcell

Would you fork out good money for an alarm-equipped fork? Well it doesn't really matter, as the invention never made it to fruition, though it did win approval from the US patent office in 1995.

The fork was an innovative attempt presumably designed to counteract the surge of obesity that gripped the United States in the 90’s (and eh... ever since), and was fitted by cutlery creators Nicole Dubus and Springfield Susan  with a built-in timer and alarm.

Sadly, this nearly existed

Both are connected to the handle of the fork, which buzzes after a preset time, ensuring that diners leave enough space between forkfuls for chewing a healthy 32 times before swallowing.

That's right, can you imagine the annoyance if the next time you went out for a night of fine dining, every table around you was filled with patrons shoving spaghetti in their mouth, which would promptly stop once their buzzers went off? Maybe it's not such a bad thing that this fork never saw the light of day.

On the other hand, the idea of a fork that wants to help us lose weight is something we can all appreciate. If you ask us, inventors Nicole and Springfield didn't go far enough with the concept - what if seconds before you dived your utensil into a giant tub of ice cream, the fork itself decided to growl at you? We could cut the obesity rates in half!

Sadly, invention didn’t quite catch on, probably because it brought back memories of mothers across the globe roaring ‘chew your food’ across the dinner table.

While the idea of a fork prompting us to down him mid-chewing is one that could produce stress-free results (losing weight, having pride in your own special fork that makes noises), it's likely that the constant buzzing would probably re-balance your stress levels if they kept going off. Can't a man chew in peace?