(CNN) -- Anyone who has struggled to be healthy is intimately familiar with the counting game. They've counted calories, carbs, Weight Watchers points, their heart rate, steps and miles.
Now a new smart eating utensil called the HapiFork will help them count bites during meals, and maybe shame them into eating slower and potentially losing weight.
Technology has made it easier to track the minutiae of everyday life, with smartphones, pedometers and small sensors that can fit in wearable devices such as wrist bands. The self-tracking hobby has blossomed into the quantified-self movement, which reaches far beyond the health conscious.
People are tracking their sleep patterns, heart rate, mood, air quality and work habits, often in a bid to analyze enough data to correct problems with their health or lifestyle.
"Whatever we can measure, we can improve," said Fabrice Boutain, CEO and founder of HapiLabs.
'Smart' fork tracks how fast you eat
In the case of the HapiFork, what can be improved is how fast people eat. It takes 20 minutes for the stomach to tell the brain it is full and that it's time to stop eating, putting speedy eaters at risk for being overeaters. The HapiFork team says there are many potential health benefits to eating slower, including decreasing acid reflux, obesity and diabetes.
The $99 fork
first gained attention during the Consumer Electronics Show in January and will be on the market by the end of the year.
The fork can be used to passively track eating habits and automatically sync that information, including duration of meals and frequency of forkfuls, with a smartphone. The HapiFork mobile app will also include a coaching program and tools to connect with friends and family.
The device can also be set up for behavior modification, vibrating any time the diner is eating too quickly as a gentle reminder to slow down. By default it is set to allow a bite every 10 seconds, though the exact time is customizable.
When the metal tines of the HapiFork touch the mouth, a circuit is closed and a bite is tallied. The data is automatically transmitted to a smartphone over Bluetooth or can be uploaded using a micro USB port in the base. The fork, which can stay charged for 15 days, has a thick plastic handle that houses the electronics. The core pops out so the fork can be washed by hand or run through a dishwasher. You must hold down a button to turn it on before each meal, but it powers down automatically after you stop using it.more