Instant ramen titan Nissin is releasing a limited-edition fork that can detect the sound of noodle slurping and trigger a nearby smartphone to play a recording to mask the food noises. This little device costs around $130, and the Cup Noodle maker is only manufacturing 5,000 of them.
Although this seems like a novelty gadget — perhaps even a viral stunt along the lines of the McDonald’s frork or the Burger King Whopper holder — a promotional video for the Otohiko fork notes that this device seeks to curb “noodle harassment,” which is a phenomenon that some local media outlets have covered recently.
The video shows three ramen-slurpers across the table from three diners who daintily lift the noodles to their mouths. The people in the second category look shook by the sounds hitting their ears.
After a cut-away to the lab to see how the Otohiko is made, the members of the slurp-averse crew try eating their soup like the people who scarf it down with gusto. Thanks to the noise-canceling gadget, these noodle noobs enjoy the sensation of eating ramen like they never have before.
The message, it seems, is that this fork can actually help bring people together.
Watch the very serious commercial for the Otohiko above, and check out more specs about this gadget over on the Nissin homepage.
• Nissin develops fork that covers up the sound of slurping noodles [Soranews 24]
• All Otohiko [E]