The world is full of stupid and useless inventions, and Japan is known for producing quite a few of them.
Now, the country that brought us the umbrella tie, chopstick fan and banana case, has raised the bar again with what could be the dumbest invention of 2017.
Introducing…the noise cancelling fork.
Japanese company Nissin, the 69-year old company behind the iconic Cup Noodle, have created a fork designed to help mask slurping sounds from enthusiastic noodle eaters.
The ad for the fork, which can only be described as pure existential agony to watch, opens with some Japanese people and foreigners standing around a table with Cup Noodles in front of them.
After eating commences, the foreigners aren’t too happy about the slurping coming from their Japanese friends.
“Noodles still taste nice without slurping,” says one. “That noise is uncomfortable,” says another. Toughen up snowflakes.
At this point, we are introduced to the “Noodles slurping noise canceling folk [sic], Otohiko.”
I can almost forgive the dumbness of this invention but that spelling mistake will haunt me for a good while.
Nissin then shows how they captured lots of slurping data and decided the best way to cover the sound was with some white noise. Wat.
So as you eat with this thing, the built-in microphone sense slurping and emits a weird whooshing sound.
The commercial concludes with everyone trying the fork and, I kid you not, a group hug. Social problem solved!
The Otohiko is retailing for 14,800 JPY ($USD 130). Mercifully, only 5000 have been made.
Slurping is actually considered evidence of enjoying a meal in Japan, so it seems a little culturally imperialistic for these foreigners to demand the noises stop. Just let them slurp, or – better yet – slurp with them!