April Fool's Day tech roundup - PC Retail

April Fool's Day tech roundup

PCR rounds up the most original tech pranks from this year’s tricksters…
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The time is once again upon us where information from the internet becomes even less trustworthy – April Fool’s Day. PCR has rounded up the most original tech pranks from this year’s tricksters…

SAMSUNG FINGERS

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Samsung has announced ‘Samsung Fingers’, “its first all-over-hand wearable device featuring a flexible Super Emo-LED for the technology-sensitive consumer”.

“Combined with an advanced 16 megapixel camera, Samsung Fingers offers the best-looking selfies you get your hands on,” the announcement states.

“Boost your creativity with dedicated features such as Finger Painter and S-tut.”

“To add to the efforts to make more things wearable, Samsung has also announced its plan to develop wearable socks with Nationally Accredited Socks Institute, NASTI,” it added.

FLI-FY

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Seemingly unsatisfied with one prank, Samsung have also announced pigeon-powered free Wi-Fi – or ‘Fli-Fy’.

Under the scheme, pigeons in London will be equipped with micro-routers to spread a free network across the capital.

“Pigeons really have made Fli-Fy possible. They’re everywhere and non-migratory, so our coverage doesn’t fly south for the winter. They also provide our micro-routers with a unique method of recharging,” said Tim Verhoeven, Senior Pigeon Engineer.

GOOGLE POKÉMON MASTER

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As part of its many various April Fool’s Day pranks, Google has announced a new job role at the company.

“Pokémon Masters are the world’s greatest digital explorers, and their passion for exploring will take our maps to the next level,” a slick YouTube video explains.

“We’ve prepared the most rigorous test known to man to find the world’s best Pokémon Master,” Google Maps VP Brian McClendon announces in the ‘recruitment’ video.

"We value employees who are risk-taking and detail-oriented, have deep technical knowledge, and can navigate through tall grass to capture wild creatures," Google added in a blog post.

But it’s not all fakery – Google Maps has added the real ability to hunt for the animated creatures on its Android and iOS apps, with over 150 to locate.

Google catch ‘em all…

VIRGIN SMARTKICKS

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Another company to poke fun at the growing popularity of wearable tech is Virgin Mobile.

The Canadian arm of the mobile network has revealed a new range of ‘SmartKicks’ tech footwear – including the ‘Smart-letto’ and the ‘SmartSneak’.

“Virgin Mobile’s SmartKicks offer a stylish way to keep connected on-the-go. With kinetic soles, on-board Bluetooth speakers and the ability to call home with the click of your heels, these shoes are the ultimate mobile accessory,” says the site.

“These heels are making for talkin’,” adds the pithy description for the $299 Smart-lettos.

VIRTUAL PIRACY

Controversial file-sharing site The Pirate Bay has developed a device with Russian, Israeli and Japanese neuroscientists that it claims will allow users to “embrace your entire mind”.

The ‘simple plugin’ utilises lasers and audio frequencies to let users experience their digitally-acquired games and movies in first-person.

“Every part of The Pirate Bay will be stored within you,” The Pirate Bay continues.

In that case, you’d better start hiring lawyers.

FIREBOX FAKES

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Firebox has got in on the April Fool’s act by offering a multitude of fake products.

Firebox’s selection varies from the Wi-Fi controlled i-Ron and the ‘World’s Largest Sphero’, available for a cool £20,000, to the DIY ‘Trim Jong-Un’ kit, the “worryingly moreish” Bryan 'Cranston Pickle' (sky blue, of course) and the decidedly decadent £500 Lionel Richie Chocolate Head (“Ingredients: milk chocolate, coca butter, sugar, party, Karamu, fiesta, forever”).

THINKGEEK TRICKS

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American geek and pop culture retailer ThinkGeek has also gone all-out with pseudo-products, including the laser-guided tactical necktie, an edition of language learning software Rosetta Stone for Trekkie dialect Klingon and the coffee-machine inspired ‘Mr Beard’ Beard Machine, which provides a selection of pods for those seeking instant facial fuzz stylings.

HTV GLUUV

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HTC has revealed ‘HTC Gluuv’, a 90s-inspired smartglove built to ‘seamlessly integrate’ with the company’s new HTC One M8 smartphone.

The silver glove, which resembles the very real and oft-mocked Nintendo Power Glove accessory, has a slew of features, including the ability to give locations a thumbs up to ‘like’ them on Facebook and snap photos using the integrated camera by landing a “well-placed fist bump”.

The Gluuv is accompanied by the HTC BoomBass, which is “durable, humongous and completely wireless”, and can be charged by carrying it on your shoulder with the Gluuv.

MC Hammer is reportedly among the early adopters of the technology.

HOLLOW MAN MORPHSUIT

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The body suit firm Morphsuit has launched the first ‘invisibility suit’.

“The suit, dubbed ‘Hollow Man Morphsuit’ has undergone over three years of research and development using a blend of technologies developed by the company’s ex-NASA engineer, Mark Rober,” states the product’s announcement, referring to the 2000 movie in which Kevin Bacon invents an invisibility serum.

“The ground-breaking outfit, covers the wearer from head to toe combining advanced image projection and ‘light bending’ technology to give the illusion of total invisibility even when moving.”

“The suit consists of an engineered material fused with spandex, thousands of micro-LEDs and mirrors, and dozens of small cameras capturing required angles to ‘project through’ the wearer.”

Personally, we here at PCR can’t see the suit working out…

PSYCHIC SHOPPING

Retail Week reported that Argos would be introducing crystal balls into its stores in order to pre-emptively sense customer's desires and save time.

"The general merchandise retailer explained that when a shopper places the palms of their hands to the surface of the interactive crystal glass, special sensors measure body temperature and the level of moisture on the customers’ hands to understand their level of stress," it said.

"It then uses unique ‘destiny’ algorithms to read the customer’s mind."

Argos chief digital fortune teller and innovative innovator of technological solutions April Day was said to have commented: “It’s going to transform the way retailers react to customer needs.

“The digital crystal ball will mean customers won’t want to waste energy making up their minds on what type of ear phones or food processor they buy next, they can just use the crystal ball to tell them what they need.”

“We’ve had some instances when it has looked too far into the future and the product it has suggested doesn’t actually exist yet."

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