A research group from Ochanomizu University, Japan, has demonstrated an electronic fork that produces a varying sound when it is being used for eating. The so-called EaTheremin generates a whining noise with a frequency depending on the electrical resistance of the food being eaten.
The fork makes electrical contact with the hand that holds it; the food at the other end of the fork completes the circuit when it comes into contact with another part of the body. The researchers found that the inside of the mouth, one of the wettest parts of the body, leads to a “really good sound”. If a food has a different consistency on the inside and outside, the difference in the impedance creates a more complicated sound. Flexible items, like chicken skin, can even generate vibrato effects as they stretch.
The goal of the study is to find a way to make people eat more of something they don’t like too much or do not have the habit of eating. Children for instance who don’t want to eat their veggies could be pushed into eating more of them, so the researchers hope.
As well as forks, the researchers are thinking of using this system in spoons and cups. Also, by dividing the electrodes between two utensils, the system could become polyphonic.
Build a Theremin with Arduino