Friday, April 1, 2016

Technology, Dreams and April Fool's Jokes

At least once per year, and more is likely better, laughter is the best medicine.

Today is April Fool's Day, when everybody from school-age kids to technology companies tried to trick people into believing into jokes.

Yet, as Sigmund Freud suggested, jokes often expose unconscious desires. Perhaps the technologies listed below, too,  have a grain of our desires wrapped in a smile?

reproduced with permissions of Aurametrix

Technology keeps marching ahead. And the future gets smarter with the Internet of Things. Here are a few announcements made today, on April 1 2016. 


Ford Australia has announced new wearable technology connecting drivers to their car like never before. Based on ‘Mood-Ion Technology’, it would monitor a wearer’s body temperature and use cameras to track eye movement and feed this information into the vehicle. It is hard to foresee what exactlty the vehicle will do in response to driver's mood changes except powering lighting, but In selected Ford vehicles, there will be options to have the glove box retrofitted with a convection oven.

Lexus connects drivers and their cars too, using velcro adhesives to bond drivers to their V-LCRO seats.

​And so does the new LeisureVans app offering to experience the power of driving in a fully autonomous RV. Using the latest advancements in software and ultrasonic hardware, their engineers have perfected the future of the self-driving vehicle. Just download an app from the App store and let it control your self-driving leisure travel van. While driving, the app will suggest you to get some coffee or have a snooze, if you look too tired. It will also make the car to wash itself when needed.

And if you don't even want to think about cars while enjoying a drive, use Ola rooms, converting cabs into mini-hotels coming to your door step. The room will drive by the views you like and restaurants you prefer. Although you could use Deliveroo’s telepathic food order to make it easier. And pre-lick food photos to make sure you like what you are ordering. Or order Google Express parachutes if you want to have your lunch right away.  


​Google introduced Plastic Cardboard VR Headset proving that "the future is clear." "Google Cardboard Plastic combines everything you love about virtual reality headsets with everything you love about reality," the company said in a statement.
The goal is to make virtual reality feel more compelling, more immersed, make it feel like actual reality.

The innovative gadget allows users to view the world in 4 dimensions with 20/20 resolution and 360 degrees of sound  - assuming that's what is provided by your own senses. But if you prefer to trust other people's senses - try "Snoopavision," a 360-degree viewing experience with rapper Snoop Dogg. After all, "Dre has Beats, Jay has Tidal, Kanye has himself and now the world has Snoopavision," as says promotional video.

And if Virtual Reality still doesn’t seem real enough, ThinkGeek offers VR rig that could spray you with water, shoot stuff at you with a built-in projectile launcher, emit scent, and ticket you with cat arms if you so desire. 


Wi-fi-enabled pillow Duolingo is making education more convenient by offering to  teach a language overnight. Thanks to synthetic fibers encouraging development in the cerebral cortex, high frequency sound system and a proprietary algorithm using Morse code to subtly teach the brain new language vocabulary and concepts in one's sleep.

There were more smart home announcements gimmicky enough to pass off as April fools jokes, but we won't be talking about them here. 


If you're struggling to keep up with your New Year's resolutions, consider JOLT - new Electrotherapy Fitness Shoes from Soft Star Shoes. High voltage sensors in the JOLT's footbed deliver an electric shock whenever you stop moving, while patented Lace-Lock™ technology makes the shoes impossible to remove - taking fitness motivation aids to "stunning" new heights. 

We have certainly come a long way since the previous generation of wearables like Gluuv inspired by a Robocop movie (announced on April 1 2014 by HTC). The wearable could double as a self-defense device you’ll definitely want to have around if you ever find yourself in a Blade Runner-reminiscent d├ęcor.

Slightly less bulky Gloves announced by Samsung and Toshiba could use 25 appropriate fingergestures, replacing laptops, tablets, smartphones, fitness trackers, watches, glasses and any other future mobile innovation.

Perhaps we should come back to this later. 

Happy April Fool's Day!

References (in addition to those provided above)

Smith, Julian. "Apps for apes: Orang-utans want iPads for Christmas." New Scientist 212.2844 (2011): 69-71.

(2000). April Fool's Day and the Medicinal Value of Humor. The virtual mentor : VM, 2 (4) PMID: 23270623

Friedman, Joseph H. "APRIL FOOL'S COMMENTARY: IN PRAISE OF PLACEBOS." Medicine and Health Rhode Island 89.4 (2006): 124.

Redberg, R. (2015). The Prescription Is Laughter JAMA Internal Medicine, 175 (5) DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.574

Robertson R (1984). Science and technology - dreams and reality. Journal of dental research, 63 (3), 371-3 PMID: 6583238