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Facial recognition for goose (Picture: Tencent)

Three April Fool’s Day gags that are almost too real

A cryptocurrency phone, a goose farm, and a smartphone with many (many) cameras aren’t as far-fetched as you think

This article originally appeared on ABACUS

Coming up with pranks on April Fool’s Day is an annual ritual for tech giants around the world. But in China, jokes that seem ridiculous actually come closer to the truth than they appear at first glance...


Everyone’s getting into cryptocurrencies, so it’s not surprising that OnePlus jokingly announced its own digital currency: PeiCoin, named for co-founder Carl Pei, that people can mine just by using their phones.

It seems ridiculous. But it’s not. Last month Lenovo called their new S5 the first “blockchain phone”. Wondering how it might work? So are we: Lenovo said it would improve payment safety, but declined to offer more details.


Facial recognition for geese (Picture: Tencent)
While everyone is moving into the future, Tencent’s April Fool's joke is about one of the world’s oldest industries: farming. It claimed it’s opening a goose farm that uses facial recognition to identify each individual animal.
It may be a prank for Tencent, but it’s real for some other companies. Agricultural heavyweight Cargill said it’s testing facial recognition on cows -- and Alibaba is teaming up with farming companies in China to use AI to raise healthier pigs. (Abacus is a unit of the South China Morning Post, which is owned by Alibaba.)


It seems every company has a smartphone with two cameras on the back. So the logical joke is to take it several steps further, which Xiaomi did by showing off a fake handset with six cameras.

Except just last week, Huawei really did unveil a phone with three cameras on the back.
So we were then going to make a joke about how April Fool's phones need two fingerprint sensors… except Huawei beat us there, too. The Porsche Design Mate RS has both an in-screen fingeprint sensor and one on the back of the phone.

Sometimes, you just can’t make it up.


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