We've seen some pretty strange tech-related PR stunts over the years -- Engadget editor Edgar Alvarez rounded up some of the most bizarre for your enjoyment. But this new invention out of Japan might be one of the strangest we've seen. It tackles the problem of "noodle harassment," which basically involves the rather unpleasant slurping sound that accompanies eating ramen. Japanese company Nissin, makers of the Cup Noodle, has invented the Otohiko, which is a tech-enhanced fork that will detect slurping noises and camouflage them with other sounds. The tech-enhanced fork can detect multiple types of slurping sounds, which must have been incredible amounts of fun in the programming stages.
There's plenty to love about the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, Samsung's latest mobile darlings. The near edge-to-edge displays and luscious design give them a fit and finish few other flagships can match. And the performance and battery-life are nothing to sneeze at either. Yet, nearly three months after their initial launch, the phones are still missing a key feature: Bixby. Samsung's AI-powered voice assistant is nowhere to be seen.
LOS ANGELES -- Looking back at 2017's tech products that bombed, none of these misses was more glaring than some wild video sunglasses that didn't exactly snap with consumers. The cute $129 video sunglasses called Spectacles from Snapchat parent Snap were initially hard to get. Then Snap put them on sale nationally in February and the broader based of national consumers showed little interest in the product, leaving a backlog of thousands of unsold glasses, and a $40 million write-down from Snap. A Wi-Fi enabled juicer with a sky-high price tag of $400 didn't make a lot of sense to consumers, especially when it required a subscription to buy proprietary Juicero bags of fruit to turn into juice. Another blow against this product was the discovery that squeezing the bags with your raw hands worked just as well as turning on the juicer.
You may be wondering, what is the point of a limited edition $130 noise cancelling ramen fork. Well to be brutally honest there is no point. The gadget features an obnoxiously large handle that is supposed to cancel out slurping noises while you eat. But, and get this, it does that by allowing your phone to create even more noise. Nissin has just introduced a noise-canceling ramen fork.
This device is not a punishment, nor was it designed to deny you pleasure. It is, however, meant to preserve the quality of life of the people around you... especially if you work in open offices like some of us at Engadget do. The Hushme works as a pair of Bluetooth earbuds, but the real draw is the voice mask attached to them -- they snap together in front of your mouth thanks to some surprisingly strong magnets, allowing you to take your phone calls in relative peace and quiet. Even better, there are ways two ways that your conversations are shielded from the world at large. A pair of thick cushy pads does a decent job muffling your voice, but the Hushme team added a series of sounds that'll play through some external speakers to obscure things even further.