Have you ever wanted the power to see through things? Maybe sneak a peak at that neighbor you've been crushing on? Researchers at UT Dallas might have figured out how to tap the terahertz spectrum with a special microchip that'll grant you Superman's X-ray-like vision (only it's T-ray vision).
About this time every year, reporters (and, of course, our readers) have to suffer through a slew of April Fool's jokes from tech companies, inevitably promising amazing things and then ending with "ha ha just kidding sucks for you!" And it does suck for us, because we get really, really excited about tech that seems too good to be true, and it's always a bummer when it's not. We get all mopey, seriously. Ray buys himself a new cellphone. Kevin feeds himself a milkshake intravenously. And I — well — I just turn all the lights off, lock myself in a closet, and weep. This year, however, we noticed that a bunch of those "ha ha just kidding" moments really weren't, in that some or all of the tech behind the impossible gadgets actually does exist, more or less. So, to make ourselves feel better, we're going to take a look at five of this year's April Fool's tech pranks that could almost, almost be real.
Tongue piercings have been around for a while now, but they've mostly been seen as about as useful and original as a kanji tattoo on your arm. But now researchers have actually come up with a device that would truly make such mouth metal useful.
A couple of years ago we introduced you to a concept humanoid robot from France called Romeo. Now that concept has finally been turned into a working prototype, and it's making its first robo-baby steps into our hearts...sort of.
The newest trend in corporate marketing magic is showing off a video of how amazing the future will look because of your products. But sometimes these futuristic videos are more reality than sci-fi, as is the case with a new look at our medical future.
It's impossible to tell what type of new technologies the future will be powered by. Corning, makers of much of the durable glass found in most mobile devices has a vision: a tablet-powered world that seamlessly connects to touchscreens of all different sizes. Corning calls its vision, "A Day Made of Glass 2."
I can't help but look at this latest device as yet another thinly veiled attempt to hedge our bets against the inevitable zombie apocalypse. Believe or not, a company has reportedly started selling GPS satellite tracking devices for the dead.
Lately, the film Minority Report seems so passé. How quickly we take amazing tech for granted. For example, Samsung has just unveiled something many of us probably (unfairly) feel is overdue, the equivalent of an iPad on every window in your home.
Mobile humanoid robots are nothing new at this point in the history of robotics, but as more advances are made with these kinds of robots we find that they're given ever more specialized tasks.
With another year come and gone, things aren't looking any better for the U.S. Postal Service. The beloved bearer of pre-approved credit cards and last minute birthday gifts purchased on the Internet is teetering on the verge of bankruptcy. There are various factors contributing to this centuries-old institution's decline, but the portliest albatross around the agency's neck is the precipitous decline in demand for first-class postage due to the faster and cheaper nature of electronic communication. This damning technology-fueled obsolescence only promises to accelerate. Engineers and basement tinkerers are tirelessly exploring the wild nerdish frontiers of 3D printing, and should we ever perfect a true Star Trek-esque transporter (which is not a completely nutso concept BTW), there will be zero need for any form of parcel service, public or private. But the lowly post office isn't the only government function on the verge of a tech-laden death knell. This century may render a number of traditional governmental roles wholly obsolete. Some of these moribund functions are obvious, while some may seem surprising. But they are coming. Here's a short list of public institutions that will be completely outmoded by the time today's preschoolers hit retirement — if not much sooner. (Note: we're looking at this trend in the scope of the U.S. system, but international readers will find parallels — this is a global thang).