Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is HAPILABS?

HAPILABS is a company aimed at helping individuals in the 21st century take control of their HAPIness, health and fitness through applications and mobile connected devices.

HAPILABS products include HAPIfork, a connected fork that helps you eat at the right time and right pace, HAPIwatch, which helps you sleep better and HAPItrack, to help you stay in great shape.

HAPILABS is based in Hong Kong and the U.S. The CEO of HAPILABS is Fabrice Boutain and the U.S. President is Andrew Carton, who is based in southern Florida.

2. Who is behind HAPIfork and the vision?

The inventor of the HAPIfork is French engineer Jacques Lépine. He teamed up with HAPILABS President Andrew Carton and CEO Fabrice Boutain to more effectively accelerate the distribution of HAPIfork into the marketplace.

3. Who are HAPIfork's customers?

Anyone who wants to improve their health, lose weight or slow down his/her eating. Many of us may be aware that we're eating too fast but our lifestyles prohibit us from slowing down, especially if we're raising a family and have busy schedules. HAPIfork helps people slow down and helps change a behavior that contributes to poor digestion and weight control. More specifically, people who:

  • Want to lose weight and are interested in a solution that can help them compliment their existing diet and lose weight faster.
  • Have been struggling with bloating and digestive problems for years and are interested in adopting a non-pharmaceutical solution that will allow them to reduce their symptoms in a natural way.
  • Need to lose weight and adopt healthy eating habits before or after surgery.
  • Are continually looking for ways to better maintain their body shape and are interested in adding the slow eating method to their "healthy habits" arsenal.
  • Are interested in Quantified-Self and in gathering data about their daily eating habits in order to better understand what to eat, when to eat and how fast to eat.
  • Want to help their family members (spouse, children, parents) or friends change their eating habits.
  • Are health professionals and want to provide their patients with reliable non-medical solutions to eat healthier and more slowly.
4. What are the Benefits of using HAPIfork?

HAPIfork has been designed to help people collect data about their eating behavior so they can more effectively and systematically improve them. Benefits include:

  • Helping you eat at the right time, so you are eating at optimal times for your body.
  • Helping you decrease the speed at which you eat your meals, improving your digestion, issues related to gastric reflux and weight control.
  • Improving your overall well being and health. The HAPILABS team will continue to solicit important feedback from the medical community about how fast people should really eat. Between outside data and internal data stored in your online dashboard, you will have the best tools and knowledge available to eat healthier and develop life-long heath eating habits.
5. Why should I use the HAPIfork?

Of course, when you focus on what you do when you're eating, you can count the number of fork servings you have during a meal and even monitor the interval between them. This is mindful eating: we can do it once in a while but it is difficult and demanding to do on a regular basis.

Most of the time, meals are social or family events in our life. When we eat, we're often in the presence of others, sharing stories, jokes and our day's activities with family, friends or business colleagues, making it extremely difficult to remain conscious of our real eating pace. The HAPIfork has been invented to address this everyday situation.

6. How does the HAPIfork work?

The HAPIfork contains an electronic key with a printed circuit that links the extremity of the fork and the handle of the fork. When you put the fork in the mouth, it closes the electric loop. The device is able to count the number of fork servings during a meal because it only interacts with two parts of the body: your mouth and your hand.

7. Do you have support from the medical community?

Today, most medical doctors understand the benefits of eating slowly. Those who have been introduced to the HAPIfork see this tool as a useful and helpful way to reduce the speed at which their patients eat. They consider it is a risk-free way to reach this objective since it is a non-intrusive approach: when people use the HAPIfork, they do not swallow anything. This means no allergic reactions or unintended side effects.

8. What science and research supports the HAPIfork?

In the past 10 years, there have been several scientific studies (especially in Japan and the U.S.) about the benefits of eating slowly, including weight loss, better digestion, and decrease of gastric reflux.

In 2004, the North American Association for the Study of Obesity demonstrated that a slower rate of eating results in people eating less, which may help them lose weight.

In 2006, the Melanson study from University of Pennsylvania measured an average difference of 67 calories more per meal ingested between slow eaters and fast eaters. In 2011, a cross national survey of over more than 3,000 people in Japan confirmed how eating quickly versus slowly is statistically correlated to overweight.

The most significant scientific studies are listed on the HAPIfork medical research website at Slowcontrol.com.

9. What is included with the HAPIfork?
  • HAPIfork Device: there are five fun colors to choose from: blue, green, white, pink and black.
  • Online Dashboard: used to store and review your eating-related data and help you track your progress meal after meal.
  • Coaching Program: provides tips on eating smarter and healthier, which includes advice, practical tips and balanced meal plans.
  • Online Social Game: designed to motivate you to implement new good habits with your loved ones.
10. What is Slowcontrol?

Slowcontrol is the company created by Jacques Lépine, the inventor of the HAPIfork. Slowcontrol is the owner of technologies and patents behind the HAPIfork. Slowcontrol is in charge of following scientific research about the benefits of eating slowly and managing contacts, experiments and tests with health professionals and organizations.

11. Is there any patent or patent-pending technology behind the HAPIfork?

To date, the HAPIfork technology is covered by four patents:

  • The first one is related to the use of the fork as a measurement tool for eating slowly paired with an alarm system when you eat too fast.
  • The second one is connected to the use of capacitive detection to count for fork servings.
  • The third one describes the specific mechanical cooperation in between the electronic key and the fork.
  • The fourth one focuses on the cooperation between the device, the platform that stores HAPIfork data and the application that displays the data and allows people to enrich them by adding photos & comments.
12. At what speed should people eat? How is that speed determined?

Eating behavior is a totally new scientific field. We are still at a very early age of research and the measurement unit regarding the speed of eating does not even exist yet. Currently, we can only observe and describe eating patterns. For example, we noticed that people who seem to eat at a reasonable pace use the fork 60 to 75 times during meals lasting from 20 to 30 minutes.

Because the science is so new, the HAPIfork provides a truly unique opportunity to change your eating habits by developing new patterns that best support your well being.

13. How does eating more slowly add to health benefits and/or weight loss?

The medical community widely supports the importance of eating more slowly since a series of scientific studies highlighted many negative effects related to eating meals too quickly:

  • Weight Gain: during the meal, satiety is felt after about 20 minutes. The faster you eat, the more you eat. The slower you eat, the faster you feel "full".
  • Digestive Problems: food that is eaten too quickly is poorly chewed and therefore poorly digested, making your digestive track work that much harder.
  • Gastric Reflux: several studies have shown that the faster one eats, the more likely the possibility of gastric reflux after the meal. It's no surprise that commercials for antacids are increasing. Eating fast isn't healthy and there is little awareness of the ramifications.
  • Postoperative Complications: eating more slowly lessens the stress on weakened tissues in the body.
14. If I want to eat more slowly, can't I do this by myself?

When we want to control the pace at which we're eating, we have to focus on counting the bites or watching the time. When we are sharing a meal with friends or being distracted by TV for example, it is very difficult to remain conscious of the pace at which we're eating. Additionally, even if we know we're eating too fast, we don't know what a "healthy" pace should be.

Therefore, we need a reliable "alert" system to gently tell us when we're eating too fast, a system subtle enough to slow down our pace without being annoying or obtrusive. The HAPIfork solves that problem and meets that need.

15. What kind of data does the HAPIfork provide? How do I analyze it?

HAPIfork will provide series of data for every meal you've ever had with your "smart fork":

  • The exact time at which you start and end your meal.
  • The amount of "fork servings" taken per minute and per meal.
  • The specific duration of each "fork serving" interval.
  • Your overall meal duration.

You will also benefit from additional data that will help you accurately monitor your progress including your overspeed rate, which is how much faster you are eating than you should. After you set your HAPIfork to a certain time interval between fork servings, your overspeed rate will be calculated for each meal. Day after day, your objective will be to gradually reduce your overspeed rate and use HAPIfork to help you achieve your goal.

16. How will HAPIfork support me through this process?

HAPIfork comes with a complete suite to successfully change your eating behavior: an online dashboard, a mobile application and a social game to play with your family and friends. It also comes with a full 21-day coaching program that includes daily videos, practical tips and balanced meal plans to help you improve your eating habits in the short and long term.

17. What is included in the mobile app and how will it help me?

With the HAPILABS mobile app, you can enrich the meals you record with your HAPIfork by adding pictures of your food and personal comments. You can also share your meals on social networks or with friends, and rate them depending on how healthy they are and how they made you feel. The beauty of having a mobile app is that you can check your eating-related stats and track your progress on the fly from wherever you are at the time.

18. What data is included in the online dashboard, what is it for and how will it help me?

Your online dashboard is a place online set up at www.hapilabs.com specifically for you, where you can quickly retrieve and easily organize all your personal data on one central location.

HAPIfork reports, stats and metrics are displayed in easy-to-digest graphics so you can keep track of your progress and move towards better eating habits.

You can also monitor your fitness activities, access your online coaching program and take part in the fun HAPILABS social game with friends and family members.

19. Is the HAPIfork washable and dishwasher safe?

A lot of thoughts went into the HAPIfork's development and design to make it practical to use. It is splash-proof so that you can wash it under the water in the sink. Also, the electronic-key (which includes the sensor, printed circuit and battery) is easy to remove from the fork's handle so you can load the HAPIfork in the dishwasher even if you wash your dishes at a high temperature.

20. How durable is the HAPIfork?

The HAPIfork has been tested for resistance and solidity. It is made to resist a fall from the height of a table (one-meter high) with no damage.

21. Is HAPIfork just for adults or do you have HAPIforks for kids as well?

We are working on a full line of HAPIustensils which we'll be unveiling under the HAPILABS umbrella of products. The new line will include HAPIforks for kids as well as HAPIspoons.

22. What colors does the HAPIfork come in?

The HAPIfork comes in 5 fun colors bound to go with any serving set: black, white, green, blue and pink.

23. How much does the HAPIfork weigh?

The HAPIfork is lightweight making it easy to toss in your purse, briefcase or pocket, so you can use it on the road when you are traveling as well as at home. Below are the HAPIfork measurements:

  • Length: 7.87 inches - 200 mm
  • Width: 1 inch - 24.5 mm
  • Height: 0,66 inch - 15.70 mm
  • Weight: 0.14 pound - 65 grams
24. How much does the HAPIfork cost and what does it include?

The HAPIfork is a complete suite aimed at smart, healthy eating habits and overall well-being. It will be priced at U.S. $99 and includes:

  • The HAPIfork Device.
  • An Online Dashboard online to store and review your eating-related data and help you track your progress meal after meal.
  • A Mobile App so you can check your progress from the road as well as from home.
  • A Coaching Program to eat smarter and healthier: helpful, useful advice, practical tips and balanced meal plans.
  • A fun Online Social Game to motivate you to implement these new smart eating habits with your loved ones.
25. When and where will HAPIfork be available?

The HAPIfork will begin shipping in Q3 2013 for HAPIfork backers only and will be released in Q4 to the general public.

26. What countries will HAPIfork be available? What other markets do you plan to distribute to?

Retail distribution will start in Q3 with exclusive partners (to be disclosed) in both the U.S. and France. We plan to open up new markets and ship to additional countries starting in 2014 as we expand our partner network internationally.