Some say it enhances the flavor, some see it as a sign of respect for the chef, some simply don't care and see it as pretty damn annoying. In any case, Japanese food manufacturer Nissin is fed up with ramen slurpers, developing a connected eating utensil to drown out noisy noodles.
Nissin bills its Otohiko ramen fork as a solution to the "cultural friction" between those who love a good slurp and those that don't. The team actually went to the trouble of recording a bunch of slurping sounds, and then got to work designing noise to counteract them.
The result is what sounds like a flash of electronic dance music played through a smartphone application. This app takes its cues from highly directional microphones built into the fork, which send the slurping signals to the smartphone over NFC to trigger the noise-cancelling effect.
Sometimes we like to stretch the limits of our "Good Thinking" category here at New Atlas, and the Otohiko noise-cancelling ramen fork is a perfect example of that. It's not hard to see why this product is pretty unnecessary, but the hilarity of the promo video and look of amazement the first Otohiko fork users is reason enough to share.
Nissin has taken a crowdfunding style approach to selling the Otohiko fork. It says if 5,000 are pre-ordered at 14,800 JPY (US$130) a pop, it will actually start producing them. Maybe a gift idea for that special slurper in your life?
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