Smart Potato Chips: the new way Japanese screen junkies eat junk food

We’ve all been there: trying to eat from a bag of potato chips and scroll on our phones at the same time. It never works. Can’t wipe our hands properly, so we get crumbs and stuff all over the screen…

It doesn’t have to be this way! – we know how you can get smarter with your snacking. Japanese potato chip maker Calbee’s teamed up with Takara Tomy on a ‘handy’ gadget solution.

Not just a flavour of the week – way more popular

Back in 2010, the original ‘Potechi Hand’ snack grabber made its debut. ‘Potechi’ (ポテチ) being the kawaii Japanese short way to say ‘potato chips’. Over 300,000 Potechi Hands were sold to happy snackers.

Smart Potato Chips is the new evolution of Potechi Hand. (We’re still not sure which name we like better.)

It’s making a comeback now ’cause a recent survey in Japan showed smartphone users often eat potato chips with chopsticks. First-gen Potechi Hands didn’t have a smartphone-friendly bit either, fair enough.

The new version’s updated for the digital age. Smart Potato Chips tools help you out in 2 ways:

  • Snack – the grab hand picks up your potato chips for you
  • Scroll – the other end’s a touchscreen pen for phones/tablets

Snacking – you’ll pick it up easy

Press the button on the grabber to pinch and hold 1 potato chip at a time. (Yeah, we’d want to pick up more in 1 go too, but don’t get greedy!)

It’s got enough grip for the tricky journey between the bag and your mouth, without overdoing it and crushing the chip. Your fingers stay completely clean of oil and crumbs.

Obvs the promo pics show Calbee snacks being picked up, but we have a sneaky suspicion it’ll work with most brands of potato chips. Can’t promise you anything when it comes to other snacks, though – not with ‘Device For Potato Chips Only’ written in all caps on the package.

Scrolling – there at your fingertips

The touchscreen pen end’s made with soft, bouncy rubber. It replaces the ‘handle’ end design that Potechi Hand models used to have.

The pen won’t get around fingerprint detection systems, so plan ahead – unlock your phone before you start eating. Metal plates on either side help you keep a good grip.

Scroll, swipe and tap like normal. Your screen’ll stay crumb-free. That’s all there is to say about it, really. We’d love it if there was a ‘Smart Potato Chips’ app – maybe sometime in the future.

Staying clean – no rubber gloves needed

When you put Smart Potato Chips down, a stand built into the ‘wrist’ stops the grab hand from touching that surface and dropping crumbs. It won’t make direct contact with the table, desk, floor or whatever.

But it’s not like you need to worry about mess that much – the hand’s self-cleaning. Hold the grab button down and move the slider forwards and backwards to give it a ‘dust off’.

A taste of convenient smartphone accessories

The Smart Potato Chips snack grabber launched with 3 Calbee ‘flavours’: lightly salted, seaweed salt, and consomme punch. There’s a ‘pizza potato’ version out there as well, plus special edition Toy Story designs for the old-school Potechi Hand including Woody and Buzz Lightyear.

You can buy Smart Potato Chips online with DEJAPAN, for international delivery. There’s no service fee or commission on orders, and we’re here to help in English if you get stuck.

We blog about weird new Japan stuff like this every month, so come back soon to see what else is trending.

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