Tech hipster augmented reality monocles are coming, this prank proves it

If it looks silly and appears within 24 hours of April Fools’ Day, it’s a fair target. Therefore, our latest object of scorn is the hipster-ready mixed reality concept device called the MonoLens. 

The device is exactly what it sounds like: A single lens that hangs off your face and delivers all the wonders of mixed reality, without the cumbersome load of real mixed reality devices like the HoloLens

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Envisioned by London-based creative agency Rewind, the concept device comes with its own elaborate promotion video in the run-up to a supposed Kickstarter campaign promised next Monday (don’t hold your breath).

“MonoLens is the first of its kind: a stripped-back, single optic augmented reality device that brings your digital world to life in real time,” the company writes on the page promoting the device. 

Image: rewind

They even go as far as offering a Warby Parker-level amount of design and color choices for the discriminating fashion douche.  

However, fans of the classic series The Prisoner will notice two major wink-winks from the Rewind team in the device’s promotion video. First, there’s the appearance of the series’ penny-farthing bicycle, and then we’re given the circle-around-the-eye hand gesture from the same misdirection-filled TV show, usually accompanied by the phrase, “Be seeing you…” 

But back to that ridiculous concept device. 

We can laugh at it now, but here’s the scary part: At the current rate of wearable tech development (and with Google Glass still fresh in our memories), at some point, a device like this will be a reality, and then we’ll be forced to look back on this imagined device and wonder where we went so wrong. 

WATCH: This levitating speaker will take your music to new heights

New app will finally let you be your best emoji self

same tbh
same tbh

Image: Shutterstock / photototo

What came first, the face or the emoji? Okay, there’s a clear answer here — but Facetune’s new Memoji app by Lightrick lets you make photos and selfies look more like classic emojis.

Forget the real tears and slap on a cartoon water droplet! Why make a kissy face at the camera when the app can do it for you? Also, there’s a unicorn filter, and it’s magical.

Memoji, released on Friday, will give the emoji treatment to any photo on your phone, newly taken or uploaded from the camera roll. The current version allows these to be warped into the crying-laugh emoji, the kissy-face emoji, the devil emoji, happy and sad emojis, a nauseous emoji, heart-eyes, sunglasses, smoking nostrils, and that unicorn we mentioned. 

Image: lightrick/itunes

The instant emoji filter can be downloaded as a picture, video, or gif and shared as needed — like this otherwise cute selfie I took in February that will now give my friends nightmares:

Or this gif I saved of Daniel Radcliffe that will never be the same:

“Emojis have become a part of everyday conversation and guide the way we chat and share our emotions, but the overall reach and impact of this important technology is limited,” said Nir Pochter, chief marketing officer of Lightricks, in a statement. “As emoji connoisseurs, we knew that the next level of societal emojification was letting it guide the photo editing process from the very start. People want more than to just send emojis, they want to be emojis. While the world is busy applying AI to silly ventures like autonomous vehicles and data analysis, we’re taking it to where the need is greatest – making us more sophisticated emotional beings — emojis.”

So now, when an emoji or selfie won’t suffice when trying to convey your emotions, combine the two — and watch the hilarious results.

WATCH: 4 tech tips to epically prank your friends on April Fools’ Day

SoundCloud adds Chromecast support on iOS

It’s pretty surprising that SoundCloud for iPhone and iPad didn’t work with Google’s Chromecast before today, but here we are. The app’s Android version has supported the feature since 2015, but SoundCloud has gotten around to adding Chromecast integration on the iOS side with today’s free update now in the App Store.

Users on both platforms can also now cast songs from SoundCloud Go+ — the company’s paid subscription service and Spotify rival. That change was added to Android a little over a week ago, and it’s ready on day one for iOS. After you’ve started playing a song over Chromecast, the app will make suggestions for additional tracks and albums to keep the lean-back listening session going.

SoundCloud is a big one for Chromecast to finally check off when it comes to cross-platform support. The music app remains massively popular, even if it’s continuously bleeding cash.

Elon Musk’s rant on aliens and chemtrails is your April Fools’ Day science treat

Image: Max Whittaker/Getty Images

Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk may not be the best comedian among tech moguls, but he’s pretty good at making fun of himself. 

That’s why it surprised no one on Saturday when he tweeted out a couple of April Fools’ Day space travel rants that included one of his favorite topics: alien life! 

“Technology breakthrough: turns out chemtrails are actually a message from time-traveling aliens describing the secret of teleportation,” writes Musk, taking on the crazed, head-in-outer-space billionaire persona some have accused him of adopting since his SpaceX successes.

But it doesn’t end there. In addition to chemtrails (a favorite topic among conspiracy theorists), Musk brings his company into the attempt at Fools’ Day humor. 

“Why did we waste so much time developing silly rockets? Damn you, aliens!” Musk wrote. “So obtuse! You have all this crazy tech, but can’t speak English!?”

See for yourself below:

Ok, it’s not the funniest space humor, but he’s trying. Give the guy some credit. And hey, if you promise to create reusable space rockets and actually pull it off, you’re allowed to crack a few corny jokes at your own expense every now and then. 

Musk’s company made history this week by relaunching a previously flown Falcon 9 booster and then landing it back on Earth. 

Years ago, video of such a feat might have been mistaken for a prank, but Musk made it real. So we’ll take the bad jokes if it means more tech and science breakthroughs, thank you. 

WATCH: Elon Musk’s Hyperloop dream is closer to becoming a reality

Let’s meet in Pittsburgh on April 11

In preparation for Disrupt New York and our upcoming TC Sessions series on Robotics Matt Burns and I will be heading to Pittsburgh to talk to some startups.

We could use some help.

We’re aiming to be in Pittsburgh on April 11 and we need a spot and potentially a beer sponsor. We prefer neutral spots but we could be convinced if you have a cool meeting space at your accelerator or office. We also need lots and lots of startups, preferably in hardware. Startups will have two minutes to pitch and two minutes of questioning from a set of amazing judges (to be named.)

If you would like to help plan please drop me a line at If you want to attend keep your eye on this space and we’ll post again with a time and venue.

If you’d like to pitch at our Pitch-Off please sign up here. See yinz soon!

Featured Image: Guy Kawasaki/Wikimedia Commons UNDER A CC BY-SA 4.0 LICENSE

Watch a dance performance change in real time with facial projection mapping

INORI (prayer)” is a dance performance video that uses real-time facial projection mapping to change the look of the dancer’s faces. Over the course of about one minute, the dancers are made to look like skulls with empty eye sockets, big-toothed clowns, and terrifying dolls with their jaws unhinged.

As Prosthetic Knowledge points out, the project is a collaboration between artist Nobumichi Asai, the design studio WOW, and the University of Tokyo’s Ishikawa Watanabe Laboratory. The video features the dance duo Aya Bambi.

The “making of” video above describes how the University of Tokyo designed a high-speed projector that projects 1,000 frames per second — what they say is the world’s fastest. By using the projector alongside a 3D-mapping system and precise sensor tracking, the video creators were able to change the look of the dancers and the aesthetics of the video in real time.

You can see the final performance below.

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April Fools’ 2017: Here’s the best and worst of this year’s pranks (so far)

April Fools’ Day falls on a Saturday this year. Seemingly worried that the internet goes away on weekends, a bunch of companies rolled out their April Fools’ jokes a few days early.

Some of them are really, really good. Some of them… are not.

Here’s our round-up of the ones worth a laugh, chuckle or, at the very least, a mildly amused puff of air through your nose.

We’ll update this gallery throughout the weekend, as more are bound to roll out on… you know, actual April Fools’ Day. Click that right arrow key to peruse the gallery, or just scroll if you’re on mobile.

Galaxy S8 Plus vs. Galaxy S7 Edge: Which Samsung smartphone has the edge?

If Samsung’s stylish curves have seduced you and you like big screens, then you’ll be looking at the new Galaxy S8 Plus with longing in your eyes. If you’re due an upgrade it may just tempt you to bite, but what if your budget is a bit more limited, or you snagged an S7 Edge last year? Is the new S8 Plus worth the extra cash? After all, the S7 Edge isn’t exactly hard to look at, and it’s no slouch under the hood, either. If this is proving to be a dilemma for you right now, then join us for a closer look at the specs, as we pit Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus vs. Galaxy S7 Edge in a battle for your affections.

MoreSamsung Galaxy S8 rumors and news leaks


Galaxy S8 Plus

Galaxy S7 Edge


Size  159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1 mm (6.28 x 2.89 x 0.32 in) 149 x 72 x 7.62 mm (5.85 x 2.85 x 0.30 in)
Weight  6.1 ounces (173 grams) 5.54 ounces (157 grams)
Screen  6.2-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED 5.5-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED
Resolution  2,960 x 1,440 pixels (529ppi) 2,560×1,440 pixels (534ppi)
OS Android 7.0 Nougat Android 7.0 Nougat
Storage  64GB 32/64GB
SD Card Slot Yes Yes
NFC support Yes Yes
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (U.S.)
Samsung Exynos 8895 (International)
Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 (U.S.)
Samsung Exynos 8890 (International)
Connectivity Wi-Fi, 4G LTE, GSM, CDMA, HSPA+ Wi-Fi, 4G LTE, GSM, CDMA, HSPA+
Camera  Front 8MP, Rear 12MP with OIS Front 5MP, Rear 12MP with OIS
Video  2,160p 4K HDR 2,160p 4K UHD
Bluetooth Yes, version 5.0 Yes, version 4.2
Fingerprint sensor Yes Yes
Other sensors Barometer, gyroscope, accelerometer, compass, heart rate, proximity sensor, iris scanner Barometer, gyroscope, accelerometer, compass, heart rate, proximity sensor
Water Resistant Yes, IP68 Yes, IP68
Battery  3,500mAh 3,600mAh
Charger  USB Type-C Micro USB
Quick Charging Yes Yes
Wireless Charging Yes, Qi and PMA Yes, Qi and PMA
Marketplace Google Play Store Google Play Store
Color offerings Black, silver, orchid gray, coral blue (international), gold (international) Black, white, gold, silver
Availability AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile
DT Review First take 4 out of 5 stars

The world of smartphones is always moving forward, and newer is generally better in the performance department. That’s certainly the case with the Galaxy S8 Plus, which sports a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor in the U.S. or Samsung’s octa-core Exynos 8895 in some international markets. The Galaxy S7 Edge has the older Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 or the Exynos 8890. The newer Snapdragon 835 chipset is smaller, faster, and less demanding in terms of power. It also enables faster charging and better download speeds. In short: The new processor is significantly better than the old one. Both phones sport 4GB of RAM, so there’s nothing else to separate them here.

Winner: Galaxy S8 Plus

CNN: terrorists have developed laptop bombs that can evade some airport security

Terrorists have “developed innovative ways” to conceal explosives in electronic devices that are capable of avoiding detection by some airport security systems, according to a report from CNN. The finding from US intelligence and law enforcement agencies was a factor in the recent US ban against carry-on electronics larger than a smartphone on direct flights from eight Muslim-majority countries. The bomb-hiding laptops can be successfully “turned on long enough” to avoid suspicion at airports, CNN said in a TV segment.

Intelligence agencies declined to comment on the report’s specifics to CNN, which claims that terrorist groups have obtained their own airport security devices in an attempt to create explosives that would go unnoticed in some screenings in the United States and abroad.

CNN has learned that, through a series of tests conducted late last year, the FBI determined the laptop bombs would be far more difficult for airport screeners to detect than previous versions terrorist groups have produced. The FBI testing focused on specific models of screening machines that are approved by the Transportation Security Administration and are used in the US and around the world.

The US ban affects inbound, direct flights from Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Qatar, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates. The UK has instituted a similar ban that applies to flights from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and Turkey. Australia has announced that it will implement additional security checks for passengers traveling from Doha, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, which may include “targeted screening of electronic device.”

Last week, The Guardian reported that the heightened flight security was “partly prompted by a previously undisclosed plot involving explosives hidden in a fake iPad.” Banned items (laptops, tablets, e-readers, and so on) must be stored in checked luggage, where it can be harder to trigger explosives from the cabin and potentially less catastrophic if a detonation were to occur. BuzzFeed News previously reported on “increased chatter” from militants aiming to hide explosives in laptop PCs. Some airlines have responded to the ban’s inconvenience by offering passengers free iPads during flight.

Prank Responsibly: April Fools’ Gags That Missed the Mark

The Internet is a minefield on April 1, with tech companies getting in on the April Fools’ act in weird, wonderful and often woeful ways. The line between a successful prank and one that leaves users sighing, or worse, is micron-thin, and the boost to one’s reputation — or knock on it — can hang around for some time.

This year, we’ve rounded up some of the worst April Fools’ pranks unleashed on a tech-savvy audience in recent memory.

Gmail Tracks Back

Last year, Google added a new button to Gmail that could append an animated GIF to an outgoing message. It depicted a Minion character dropping a microphone to signal the classic boast, “I’m out of this conversation — nothing you can say will be better than what I just wrote.”

Unfortunately, Google placed the “Send with GIF” button right next to the regular “Send” button, causing all manner of social faux pas. Worse, the feature prevented the sender from seeing any subsequent replies.

The Internet went a little crazy with reports suggesting that “Send with GIF” accidents had cost people jobs and friends — or at least damaged relationships. Google disabled the tool before the end of the day and apologized.

While it was a cute idea and surely raised a few smiles, the execution definitely could have used a little more finesse.

Shots Fired

Google’s high volume of foolery each year means that it’s bound to have plenty of appearances on any list of the worst Internet April Fools’ pranks, and hey, look at that, here’s another. In 2013, Google and Bing decided to poke some fun at each other.

Google offered a tool called “Gmail Blue,” apparently the result of a challenge to “completely redesign and recreate something, while keeping it exactly the same.” It essentially gave Gmail a bluer theme instead of the default red look. This was Google’s way of throwing shade at Microsoft, which at the time was working on a project called “Windows Blue” — a redesign of Windows 8’s metro mode with some new features.

At the same time, Microsoft offered a different version of its Bing search engine, taking aim at the most well-known place on the Internet: the Google homepage. When users entered “Google” into Bing’s search field, they were rewarded with a sparse white page sporting a colorful Bing logo and an “I’m Feeling Confused” button, a riff on Google’s “I’m Feeling Lucky” option.

Microsoft aimed a couple more direct barbs at Google, along the lines of this tooltip: “With so many delicious flavors available, most people still choose vanilla.” Microsoft also suggested the aim of the prank page was “to learn more about how our world would look if we hadn’t evolved.”

Relatively inoffensive, sure, but the missives from both sides seemed somewhat petty and didn’t make either company look good. One wonders what interesting new feature might have popped up had the engineers working on each “prank” decided to work on something actually productive or funny.

Microsoft’s Insta-Ham

Speaking of Microsoft and 2013 April Fools pranks, the company allowed an Instagram app logo to sneak into its Windows Phone app store — but, haha, there was no app to download. It was a mean-spirited, ill-conceived joke, as many Windows Phone owners had been desperate for an Instagram app.

It’s likely that an independent developer carried out the prank, but I can’t imagine why Microsoft wouldn’t have vetted an app with that particular name, given that the joke only served to annoy its users.

Vwls Pls!

As much as I love and cherish Twitter, I don’t think I’ll ever forgive it for teasing a new premium product that might have brought about an end to the English language as we know it.

It suggested that everyone could still use Twitter as a basic service, but only its new premium version would display vowels — you’d have to shell out some cash to see complete tweets. It’s an obvious nod to the company’s original name, Twttr, and in all honesty, not a terrible joke.

But, my word, would I have subscribed to that premium account in a heartbeat. I am all for people expressing themselves however they need to, but I’d urge them to do so with a semblance of grammar and proper spelling.

A Twitter without vowels would be a nightmare. Twitter might be onto something with this subscription idea, though. I’d happily hand Twitter money every month if it helped get rid of all the trolls and reprobates.

It’s a Match

In 2015, Tinder and Uber teamed up to combine their services and create Tinder for Uber and Uber for Tinder. Make a Tinder match with an Uber driver and split the fare, or make a Tinder match with someone else and automatically request Uber rides to meet somewhere in the middle.

It is, on the surface, a pair of silly ideas welded together in a way that makes sense for our modern world. However, it seems a little shortsighted given the concerns many have about inappropriate advances from drivers in the best of times, let alone when a c

Kris Holt is a writer and editor based in Montreal. He has written for the Daily Dot, The Daily Beast, and PolicyMic, among others. He’s Scottish, so would prefer if no one used the word “soccer” in his company. You can connect with Kris on