2014.09.06 smart hashi

Ever sit down to eat a meal and wish you knew how many calories or salt were in your food? Ever cooked a piece of meat or fish only to later wonder whether it might have gone bad? Last week, Chinese Internet giant Baidu announced that it has been working on a pair of wi-fi-enabled high-tech chopsticks that will be able to detect the nutritional makeup of the food it touches as well as warning consumers of any safety issues such as contaminants or expired food.

At an annual technology conference in Beijing last week, Baidu CEO Robin Li presented the chopsticks as a “new way to realize the world.” The product is called Kuai Sou, or “Searching Chopsticks” in Chinese (which unfortunately sounds an awful lot like the Japanese word for pathetic: kawaisou) and can be linked up with a smart phone app to display all sorts of information about the food it touches. Even without the app, the chopsticks will light up red if they detect any contaminants of expired food. With China’s rise as both a food and technology exporter, these futuristic chopsticks could be just the thing to restore faith in the country after a series of high-profile food safety scandals over the past few years.

▼ Need to know absolutely everything about the salad you’re about to eat? Then these chopsticks are for you!

2014.09.06 smart hashi i copyImage: YouTube (老皓)

▼ And if you’re worried at all about the cooking oil being used, just give it a little stir with the chopsticks to find out more about where it came from and what is in it.

2014.09.06 smart hashi iii copyImage: YouTube (老皓)

▼ Besides the other super fancy features, the chopsticks can also be used as a simple thermometer to make sure you are frying at the optimal temperature

2014.09.06 smart hashi ii copyImage: YouTube (老皓)

Japanese netizens were somewhat skeptical of whether such a high-tech product would actually work, but many seemed excited about the possibility of being able to know so much about the food they are eating. While some thought the high-tech chopsticks were too good to be true, others wondered if they should really trust a Chinese company considering all of the recent food scandals that have continued to come out of the country.

“More important than food safety, this could help with dieting.”

“Do people really need some expensive chopsticks to tell them what not to eat?”

“No way, I don’t trust Baidu to begin with, much less telling me if my food is safe or not.”

The chopsticks seem to still be in a very early phase of development and Baidu didn’t reveal details regarding a price or release date. How much would you pay for a pair of chopsticks that could tell you the nutritional makeup and safety of your food? Take a look at this video from Baidu explaining the chopsticks and let us know what you think in the comments below!

Video: YouTube (老皓)

Feature image: Baidu
Source: Wall Street Journal (Japan), Naver Matome