I can still hear my Mom reminding me, all these years later: “nobody is going to steal the food off your plate”. It was her go-to hint that I was plowing through dinner at an inconsiderate rate (her other angle was to set down her own fork and take a deeeeeeep breath, reminding the rest of us grunts to do the same now and then). At the time, these hints seemed rather annoying, but, like many things, I look back now in appreciation for a number of reasons: it aided in my development as a (somewhat) civil human being, it honed my radar for subtle methods of communication, and – perhaps most valuable – it introduced me to portion control, which has become an invaluable tool to maintain a (again, somewhat) healthy lifestyle even as my metabolism has retracted to nil.

So what does all this have to do with technology in experiential marketing? Well, it turns out somebody just turned my mom’s nagging into an app:

The HAPIfork, built by the folks at HAPILABS, was a hit at this year’s CES show and is now making waves following a successful Kickstarter run.  Like all the tools coming out of HAPILABS, this fork is taking technological advancements and applying it to the simplest of things.

It’s this core philosophy that links HAPILABS to other innovators that I believe are paving the proper road forward. As technology blends more seamlessly into the world around us, there is something to be said for forgoing the bright, blue sky in favor of rethinking the things that are already integral to our collective existence.  Even Bill Gates is embracing this perspective; he’s currently leading a push to improve the health and safety of nearly 40% of the global population by redesigning something most of us take for granted every day: the toilet.

So whether it’s a wristband that measures your physical activity or a wallet that reacts to your bank account or, yes, a fork that scolds you for eating too fast, some of the most profound innovation will be reflected not in how we replace what we already know, but how we enhance it.

Now, let’s all stop, take a deeeeeeep breath, and begin to think about what we can elevate next (thanks Mom).