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  • Writer's pictureTeresa Mastrangelo

Put a (HAPI)Fork in it…And other Health & Fitness Trends from CES

New Year, New You! CES provides the perfect venue for companies to introduce new products aimed at Health and Fitness.  As someone who has been a certified fitness professional for over a decade – I tend to pay extra attention to these trends – regardless of how ridiculous the claims.

Smart Utinsels

HAPILabs is introducing its HAPIFork and spoon that measures your eating habits — how long you eat for, how long between each mouthful and how many of them yo

u take.  If you are eating too fast (less than 10 seconds after the last mouthful) – the fork will vibrate.

When you are finished eating, data is transmitted from the fork to your HAPIfork account, either via Bluetooth (2014) or by connecting the fork to your computer via USB.  Information about your meal can be shared with friends or kept private – because we all know that people will actually care about this!

Available in 2Q, each fork or spoon will cost $99 – about the same cost for a decent flatware service for 12!  Additionally, it also comes with the HAPILABS app plus a 21-day coaching program to help you eat better and change your eating behavior.

The real kicker is the fact that – according to its inventor – they haven’t proven effective at helping people lose weight.. yet.

Undoubtedly, there will be plenty of people that will indulge in this device.  Personally, I don’t want to carry around my utensils when I dine out or travel and it is a bit heavy and too square to fit comfortably in a smaller hand.

Activity Monitors

Activity monitors are nothing new to the fitness industry.  Pedometers and heart rate monitors have been around for years.  What is changing is how we can view this information in a meaningful way.

HAPItrack pink

-HAPILabs – the company responsible for the aforementioned smart fork – has also introduced its HAPITrack device which measures steps, distance, workout time, and calories burned in real time.  (

-Withings announced the Smart Activity Tracker which  adds pulse measurement to the number of steps taken, strides run, distances covered, calories burned, and quality of sleep.  The device syncs via Bluetooth Smart with the Withings Health Mate App where all the data is collected and stored in real time.

The device can be in

serted into a pocket, clipped to a belt or used in an arm band. The front of the device features a touch surface that allows users to navigate from screen to screen and the back houses the heart rate sensor where users simply place their finger to take their readings. The device has a two week battery life and has an on-board micro USB port for recharging.

This device certainly has potential, but they need to build this device into a wristband or some other wearable form – particularly for sleep. (

-Fitbit, debuted the Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity + Sleep Wristband, similar to the Nike+ FuelBand.  It tracks steps taken, distance, and calories burned. It also tracks how long and how well you sleep, allowing you to learn how to sleep better.  Flex uses Bluetooth 4.0 to sync data automatically to the Fitbit dashboard using smart phones or via a computer, with no buttons to push and nothing to plug in – a big improvement over Nike.


The device has indicator lights that will illuminate when a user hits 20% increments of reaching a goal (such as walking 10K steps).   Additionally,  the tracker itself is removable, allowing users to switch  the color of the band.  Available in Spring 2013 for $99.95 (

-Spree Sports is introducing its Spree headband (yes, you read that right – just like the 80s) that measures body temperature, distance traveled, speed, time, heart rate and calories burned.  Spree uses Bluetooth technology to relay real-time information from the headband device to the smartphone app.

Clearly aimed at serious athletes – this one is pricey – at $599. (

“Cruise Control”

There are thousands of apps associated with Health and Fitness, but this one caught my eye.  Called “Cruise Control”  – this app adjusts the tempo of your music in real-time and uses songs from your playlists to control your running pace and heart rate.  A user just plugs in their target pace or rate and off they go.

Now I can speak from experience from teaching fitness classes that pitching the tempo up or down can have a dramatic effect on the music – making some songs sound like the chipmunks are singing it and others like the cassette tape is breaking.

While the concept is great – its applicability is probably limited – I think I am going to have a hard time running at a decent pace to Stairway to Heaven, regardless.

Bottom Line

Smart Phones and Apps have certainly made a major impact on helping consumers monitor and track their activity and diet.  While I think it is great that SusieQ ran 4.24 miles in 38 minutes – do I really need to know this?

I use a heart-rate monitor periodically when I exercise – mostly to understand my heart rate and to see what impact specific training such as HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) has on my fitness level.  However,  I almost never use it on a daily basis.

Same with tracking exercise – particularly weight lifting.  I continue to find that a simple log book works best – allowing me to write down my exercise as it is occurring – I have never actually seen anyone use their phone in the gym to track their lifting…

On the other hand – I find food logging apps to be particularly useful – assuming one is diligent enough to log their food daily.

In my opinion, the best device would be one that measure my heart rate and activity;  automatically logs it into a program and sends me a message on a daily, weekly or monthly basis to notify me of my progress/accomplishment.  I don’t need you to tell me how I am sleeping or how fast I am eating. Oh, and make it as non-obtrusive as possible – maybe some type of arm band and perhaps it can take my blood pressure, occasionally?

More news to come as both the Digital Health Summit and FitnessTech kick off tomorrow!


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