If you’ve never been to Japan, you might want to take note that when eating noodles such as ramen, it is actually encouraged that we slurp our noodles, which some claim enhances the flavor of the noodles (similar to sniffing your wine before drinking it). Of course such behavior outside of Japan is typically seen as rude, so if you’d rather not get stared at, or if you’re particularly self-conscious, not to worry.

Japanese company Nissin has announced the launch of the Otohiko. This is a “smart fork” that can apparently detect when you’re about to eat noodles and to mask any slurping sounds, it will play other sounds to cover it instead. If you’re wondering why this sounds familiar, it is because the concept is similar to that of some toilet bowls in Japan that play noise to mask the sounds of people taking a dump.

The fork will pair with an accompanying app that will be able to detect when the noodle-eating action is about to begin and will play music from it, although we’re not sure how different this is from you opening a music app and playing music yourself. It definitely sounds rather novel, and to be honest we reckon it might be more annoying compared to hearing people slurp their food.

In any case Nissin will be producing the Otohiko in limited quantities of 5,000 units. Unsurprisingly it will only be available in Japan where it will be priced at 14,800 yen, which is actually rather pricey for something as trivial as this, but hey, to each their own.

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