2013
01.18

Everything is getting connected from our forks to our toothbrushes, elevating activities such as eating and brushing to new heights—and in some cases even making them competitive. But I have to stop and wonder how quickly something like a connected toothbrush or fork will actually take off.

I have to admit when I saw the HAPIfork at CES last week, I was initially impressed. I had never seen a fork with a sensor in it before and it was, quite honestly, a welcome divergence from the aisles of fitness-tracking devices and health-monitoring gadgets. A fork that tells you how quickly or slowly to eat certainly is distinctive to say the least. In the days that have followed since CES, there has been quite a bit of talk about the HAPIfork—some poking fun and other admiring the ingenuity.

The big question has become: Will the HAPIfork find its way into our silverware drawers? I believe the day when connected utensils propagate our kitchen will come, but it still may be a ways off. The introduction of the HAPIfork is simply the first step in connecting our cutlery.

That’s not the only everyday object becoming connected. Let’s look at another recent example—your toothbrush. Not quite as widely discussed as the HAPIfork, the Beam Toothbrush App will track brushing habits.

Aimed primarily at parents looking to keep an eye on kids’ techniques, brushers simply apply toothpaste and proceed as normal. Then the app will provide realtime feedback to the children and adults via a mobile device. By making brushing competitive and assigning goals, parents can encourage children to brush more regularly. The app will even send an alert when it’s time to replace the brush head.

I am personally excited to see the Beam Toothbrush App and the HAPIfork come to fruition. It is the next logical step in connecting everyday objects around our home and signals even simple, mundane objects have a place in today’s connected world. I am eager to see what will come next.

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