Japan Has a $130 Fork That Eliminates the Sound of Noodle Slurping
By Kyle Encina
October 24, 2017
Japan has come up with a way to eliminate the sound of noodle slurping by creating a hi-tech fork that works with a smartphone to mask the food noises.
While numerous Japanese citizens prefer to keep their noodle-slurping habits, instant noodle company Nissin has created Otohiko, a bulky-looking fork similar to an electric toothbrush albeit with a utensil on its tip instead.
Nissin has gone through the trouble of collecting every sound sample of noodle-slurping and have integrated them into the enormous fork, according to SoraNews24.
What makes the fork significantly larger than the average utensil is because it’s equipped with microphones and speakers. The hi-tech fork recognizes slurping sounds using near-field communication (NFC) then converts them into something more bearable such as a “whoosh” or xylophone sound effect.
According to Food & Wine, sound artist Shinya Kiyokawa is the mind behind the development of Otohiko fork, and found several ways of covering the unwanted slurping sound.
Surprisingly, the technology involved in this silverware is akin to that of Toto’s Otohime systems, a sound masking technology used primarily to rid nasty sounds produced in toilets.
Those hoping to purchase their own Otohiko fork should act soon since only 5,000 units will be available. Nissin is already putting the product up for grabs right now for about 14,800 yen ($130), but will no longer be accepting pre-orders by December 15.
The Otohiko fork might have a steep price for consumers, but it could be worth every penny if it means removing the sound of noodle slurping. The hi-tech utensil might not be as bizarre as Japan coming up with even more unusual ways of implementing technology such as being able to tie the knot with favorite anime characters via virtual reality.
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