Fri, Feb 08, 2019 - Page 5 News List

Pre-smashed chips keep your phone grease-free

PARADIGM SHIFT:Japanese snack company Koike-ya is offering chips that require only a single hand to eat — and you do not even have to touch the chips at all

The Guardian

Among the concerns facing today’s social media maven: How can one scroll through Instagram and enjoy a bag of potato chips without getting one’s phone all greasy?

It is a dilemma Steve Jobs was never able to solve, but that has not stopped today’s innovators. A Japanese snack company is offering chips that require only a single hand to consume — and you do not have to touch the chips at all. The Tokyo company Koike-ya is behind One Hand Chips, which come pre-smashed so that you can essentially drink them, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Now you can swipe with clean hands, and while the calories pile up, you do not have to waste valuable energy chewing.

As one enthusiast tells the paper: “I can just take it and chug it.”

Koike-ya is aware of the significance of its accomplishment, calling One Hand Chips “a new snack style humankind has been waiting for,” the Journal reports.

But it is far from the first company to tailor the dining experience around our phone-centric lifestyles.

Nearly a decade ago, TechCrunch reported on the Potato Chip Hand. It is a plastic stick with pincers on one end, forming a grabber that pleasingly mimics the white gloves favored by Mickey Mouse and Goofy. It emerged just a few years after release of the first iPhone.

McDonald’s Corp, meanwhile, has gradually refined its own tools to address the phone-grease conundrum. In 2017, it unveiled the Frork, which is a device to hold and dip French fries. Wooden chip forks are commonplace in the UK, of course — with the life-changing implication that fries can be a meal — but this was different. The beauty of the Frork was how the fries became a part of it, serving as makeshift tines that you could sweep through ketchup. The trouble was loading the holder with fries, which was essentially impossible without touching them, as the writer Tim Carman observed in a series of Washington Post pieces on fry-centric tech.

Perhaps that is why the brilliant minds at McDonald’s rethought the strategy last year. Instead of targeting the fries, they focused on the phone with the Frylus. Your hands might be covered in grease, but the tool allowed you to use your phone without touching it. Had Apple Inc considered this innovation, perhaps the iPhone would have come with one from the start.

According to General Mills, makers of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, you should not have to “ choose between eating and posting “ selfies, either. The cereal team invented the selfie spoon a few years back, as reported in Time and promoted in a horrifying music video.

“Our awesome fans love to share their obsession with our cereal on social media, so we wanted to show a little love back,” a marketing planner said on the company’s blog — but you do have to cover shipping. trumpets the fact that this is “really a thing.” They are sold out, presumably forever, but one is available for US$50 on eBay.

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