Japanese designer ditches chopsticks for amazing musical fork



This is part of our “Crowdfunding in Japan” series (RSS). Services like KickStarter have become a global phenomenon with the power to let creative individuals take their ideas to new heights. It’s happening here in Japan too, and the following is a prime example.

At CES 2013 Hapilabs turned a lot of heads with their smart fork. That device promotes healthier eating by making sure you don’t eat too much or too fast. But another unique utensil from Cerevo Dash, the EaTheremin, aspires to enrich your dining experience by turning your meals into a musical performance.

How does it work? I’m glad you asked. The handle and tip of the fork contain separate electrodes, which create a weak electric current flowing through the food and the body (mouth → handle) when you eat. It plays different sounds depending on the type of food on the fork and the way in which it is eaten (according to changes in electrical resistance). All you have to do is add the battery and it’s ready for use.

There are two varieties of EaTheremin. The digital version selects and plays pre-loaded sound effects from the internal memory based on the food’s electrical resistance. For the analog version, simple sine waves change subtly based on the food’s electrical resistance and how you eat, thus producing a sound like a theremin for your enjoyment [1].

This is a cool idea for a number of reasons. The fork could prove an effective tool in convincing picky children to eat foods they don’t like or helping hospital patients or elderly folks with cognitive impairments to enjoy meals again.

They raised ¥308,500, but regrettably the project concluded before the designers could reach their reaching the funding target. But we hope that this clever fork can find its way to our dinner tables sometime soon.

  1. The theremin is an electronic musical instrument from Russia, played without making physical contact. You simply move your hand in proximity to the instrument. If you’ve ever listed to Good Vibrations from The Beach Boys, that weird whining instrument is a theremin.  ↩