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Food Experience

Electro Fork

  • CategoryDesignTechnical DirectionTechnical Produce

Overview

We were responsible for the technical production/direction and product design of Electro Fork, a fork which can control the flavor of food through an electronic sense of taste generated by electrically stimulating the tongue.

The Electro Fork was used in the No Salt Restaurant, a restaurant which provides salt-free cuisine to its customers. The device allows people who are avoiding salt in their diet (e.g. due to high blood pressure) to adjust the flavor of the food to their own individual tastes and maintain a healthy diet.

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Food Experience
Food Experience
Food Experience

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We were responsible for the technical production/direction and product design of Electro Fork, as used in the No Salt Restaurant, which provides its customers with salt-free cuisine.

The Electro Fork is a fork that makes it possible to control the flavor of food by electrically stimulating the tongue to produce electrically generated taste sensations such as saltiness, sourness and bitterness. Using the Electro Fork, the principle of which was researched and developed by Hiromi Nakamura, people who are avoiding salt in their diets (e.g. those with high blood pressure) can adjust the flavor of their food to their own individual tastes, allowing them to maintain a healthy diet.

The handle and prongs of the Electro Fork act as electrodes. When a user takes hold of the fork, uses it to pick up a piece of food and place it into the mouth, and presses a button to release an electric current, the electric current is conducted to the tongue via the food, electrically stimulating the tongue to generate a sensation of taste. As the original prototype developed for the fork was large and difficult to use, we were faced with the challenge of developing a smaller model adapted for real-life application. In order to resolve these issues, we succeeded in scaling down the size of the fork after experimenting with a series of test models, and developed a new model with a functionally aesthetic design that utilizes the structural limitations placed on it by the necessity of ensuring that the user must hold the electrode in their hand. Further, we added a function that allows users to control the strength of the electric current by pressing a button, making it possible for them to control the intensity of the flavor sensation.

The Electro Fork not only allows people to maintain a healthy diet, but is also a device for controlling flavor according to individual tastes, symbolizing a fundamental shift in our concept of food.

Credits

  • Technical Producer/Technical DirectorToshiyuki Hashimoto(The Shift)
  • Creative Director/ Copywriter/ PlannerKohei Kawasaki(J. Walter Thompson Japan)
  • Chief Producer / PlannerTomohiko Nakano(J. Walter Thompson Japan)
  • Buisiness Director / PR DirectorRiki Kawanami(J. Walter Thompson Japan)
  • Business DirectorYongbom Seo(J. Walter Thompson Japan)
  • Planning SuperviseTakashi Ishii
  • Electric Taste ResearchHiromi Nakamura
  • Mechanical Design EngineerOsamu Iwasaki(aircord)
  • Product DesignerTomofumi Yoshida(aircord)
  • Fabricator/ Fabrication DesignerMaki Hitomi(aircord)
  • Technical OperatorSeiya Nakano(aircord)

Awards

  • Japan Media Arts FestivalThe 20th Japan Media Arts Festival Entertainment category Excellence Award
  • 2017 ADFESTDirect / Finalist
  • 2016 SPIKES ASIAInnovation / Shortlist