The wearables that could have been April Fools' Day jokes

Wait, that is really a thing?
Real wearables or April Fools'?

We aren't afraid of no jokes. Once April rolls around we're eager for creative tech pranksters to tell us they've made a fitness tracker for cows, or a pair of trousers that make you run as fast as a train.

We strap in, load up the old inbox and prepare to chuckle. So below, for you, we've compiled our favourite April Fools' Day tech… except, hold your dang horses, the super cool things in this list weren't jokes at all, they're actual prototypes and even products that got to market!

Read this: What makes the perfect smartwatch according to us

So, in a way, we've pranked you. We've pranked you good…

Sexy tracker

Wearables that could have been April Fools' Day jokes

Just look at the box. If ever there was a wearable gadget that screamed "we mocked this up for giggles!" it's the i.Con Smart Condom. "Very good" you say with a wry smile, but then you notice the date this product hit the headlines… early March! It's not an April Fool AT ALL!

And it's also kind of not a condom either, it is in fact a ring that slips over your actual condom to help you get a handle on your thrust velocity and pace, how many calories you've humped off, your skin temperature and, ahem, girth. It'll also tell you how many positions you managed ("CONGRATS ON YOUR NEW PB: 2!) and you can make yourself feel awful by comparing your stats to the rest of the world.

Lovely friendly jacket

Wearables that could have been April Fool's Jokes

From within the labs of researchers at MIT, in 2012, came the Like-A-Hug vest. When the person wearing it receives a "like" on Facebook, the vest constricts to give you the sensation of being hugged, or killed by a snake. If you ask us, it was a rather lovely idea.

Imagine receiving a hug from a faraway loved one over a Skype chat, or being embraced by a friendly character in a VR game. You could even deflate the jacket to send a hug back. Rumours of a pair of trousers that wet themselves when someone defriended you, alas, proved to be unfounded. Shame.

Finger phone

Wearables that could have been April Fools' Day jokes

Say that again: make phone calls by putting your finger on your ear? Are you pulling our legs? Well no you're not, according to "the internet". The Sgnl smart strap has attracted over 8,000 backers and raised $1.5m from crowdfunding.

Pairing with all the big boys in the smartwatch world, all you do when you receive a call is put your digit to your ear - like someone protecting the President as he gets in his car - and it'll transmit sound and block out background noise, and your voice goes into a microphone built into the strap. It uses "body-conductible vibration" and Bluetooth, actually works (we've tried it) and is available to pre-order now from Innomdle Lab.

Socks that talk to each other

Wearables that could have been April Fools' Day jokes

You've probably heard of smart socks such as those by Sensoria, which provide you with jogging data, but if we were to tell you there's such a thing as socks that call to each other so they'll always be properly paired, we'd expect to be told to get right out of town. Well we're staying in town, thank you very much.

Smarter Socks by Blacksocks tell your iPhone which socks belong together, how often you've washed them, when they were produced, when you ordered them and when you need to buy some more. It may be April 1st (if you're reading this on April 1st), but these socks ain't fooling.

Wearables for dogs

Wearables that could have been April Fool's Jokes

When trying to pull a fast one on the Day of the Fool, companies often take a human gadget and slap it on a dog. They'll call it something like… oh, we don't know… something like "FitBark". But get this, FitBark is actually a thing.

It's an activity, sleep and behaviour tracker that helps you set health goals for your pooch, catch early signs of illness and discomfort and monitors a range of medical issues. You can also take part in challenges and make new four-legged friends. Have another chuckle at the name then check out the website to see the incredible amount of data gathered so far from over 200 breeds.

Read this: Living with pet wearables

Music… for your body

Wearables that could have been April Fool's Jokes

When you read the USP of the Basslet, "the watch-size subwoofer" that "delivers bass straight to your body for a powerful music experience that headphones cannot provide", and view an image of a black watch with no screen, you'd be forgiven for scoffing.

But no, suck that scoff back in, this product "for bass addicts" is very much available to purchase and then wear, having raised over €600,000 to become one of the most successful German Kickstarter projects ever. It provides a frequency response from 10 to 250 Hz, offers over six hours of playtime and operates silently. It's not just for music but also to ramp up gaming & VR experiences. Our verdict: Need.

Fitness trackers all over the place

Wearables that could have been April Fool's Jokes

Ha, Ha, a belt that tracks how tubby you're getting? A headband that tracks fitness? A fork that tracks food intake? Yes, we get the point you're making with these obvious satirical jabs, health trackers have gone too far, haven't they? Oh right, they're all real.

Yep, smart belts, including the Beltly and the Welt, have been around for a couple of years, the Spree headband and smart baseball cap are actual things and the HAPIfork tells you how long it took to eat your meal, the amount of fork servings per minute and the intervals between fork servings. After all, health is no laughing matter.

Power Wellies

Wearables that could have been April Fool's Jokes

Stomping on the headlines in the UK in 2010, this wearable could almost be described as rustic, given how long seven years is in tech. The Power Wellies were a combined project from Orange and renewable power experts, GotWind.

Using a "power generating sole", the wellies, designed to be used as that year's Glastonbury Festival, converted heat from your feet into electrical current to help keep your phone juiced.. We're not sure how much heat can be generated when you have a bad case of trench foot, but as one of Time's 50 best inventions of 2010, we would have loved a pair.



TAGGEDWearables

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