Gadgets for humans

This $130 noise-canceling ramen fork is the dumbest gadget of 2017

Ramen experts will tell you that the correct way to enjoy a bowl of soupy noodles is to slurp as you eat, so you can taste both the noodles and the broth in every mouthful. Apparently, that’s off-putting to some people, for whom I have no sympathy.

I’m even more aghast at the idea of Nissin, 69-year-old Japanese company that invented instant noodles, accommodating these folks with a noise-canceling fork – and charging them 14,800 JPY ($130) for it.

The idea is that the limited-edition Otohiko fork, with its ostensibly large handle, will pick up offensive slurping sounds as you dine on ramen, and play white noise from your phone with a companion app to drown you out. So effectively, every time an Otohiko user slurps, you hear a strange rushing sound from a small speaker. Problem solved!

The only good thing about the Otohiko fork is that Nissin is only making 5,000 of them. Hopefully you’ll never encounter one in the wild.

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Published October 24, 2017 — 07:28 UTC