HAPILABS dominated the CES 2013 headlines with its HAPIfork. This fork uses haptic feedback to alert you when you are eating too quickly and then sends information about your eating habits back to your smartphone or other connected device. As time went on, the media was not so kind to the HAPIfork, labeling it as weird and useless. TechCrunch and a few other publications stepped up in defense of the HAPIfork, but I’m going to take it even further and grant the HAPIfork the retroactive award for the Most Important Innovation of CES 2013.
The HAPIfork isn’t important because it’s a great product. It’s important because HAPILABS expanded the thinking of every CES attendee about what devices could – or should – become connected. It promoted a lively discourse which spread across the CES floor and into the media. It turned the Internet of Things into the Internet of Everything.
Within the halo of the HAPIfork, it’s hard to consider an object that couldn’t be connected – coffee mugs that alert you when your drink is getting cold, showerheads that double as speakers. It makes for an interesting thought exercise as you browse the floor at CES 2014. Think beyond the devices on display. Consider the concession stands, the restrooms, the floor itself. Manufacturers have only begun to tap the potential of the fully connected life.
This year, HAPILABS returns with a new and improved model of the HAPIfork, and hopefully a few additional surprises. Take this opportunity to swing by and appreciate the impact that the humble fork can have on the entire consumer electronics industry.