AR cake features Keanu riding a unicorn

AR cake
Yep, this really is an augmented reality cake

Faced with the challenge of making a "decorative cake" recently, Brooklyn-based Justin Blinder did what any interactive designer with poor baking skills would do: he made an augmented reality cake.

Using a "simple BCH marker" found on the web, Blinder iced it onto the cake and programmed it using openFrameworks and ofxARToolkitPlus.

Being somewhat pressed for time, he opted for a "conservative and traditional" design, comprising a unicorn-riding Keanu Reeves and a few dolphins. Sadly even Keanu couldn't detract from Blinder's "mediocre" cake mix:

AR cake

TASTY: Cool tech can't make up for poor skillz

"The main lesson learned is that Augmented Reality will only compensate for poor cake making skills in the right company," lamented Blinder. Hit this video for an action replay of the process.

Remote-controlled soldiers

It's no stranger to controversy, that's true, but has DARPA gone too far this time? Its latest neurotechnology research could see soldiers remote-controlled by ultrasound, according to Arizona State University neuroscientist William Tyler.

He's been working with the US Department of Defence to develop a "transcranial-pulsed ultrasound" able to directly stimulate brain circuits from outside the brain – without surgery.


MIND BENDING: DARPA insists it won't be using the mind-control helmets to give soldiers orders…

The technology involves a small chip placed inside a helmet. Able to reduce stress and anxiety, heighten alertness and even reduce the effects of traumatic brain injury, it means DARPA can now get further into the minds of soldiers than ever before. Hmm - warriors who don't feel pain despite lasting brain damage? What could possibly go wrong…

Spartans take to the skies in London

Microsoft went to unusual measures to mark Tuesday's launch of Halo: Reach this week. Pigeon-feeding tourists in London's Trafalgar Square and various other spots around the world were surprised to see a jet pack-wearing Spartan blast off for a brief flight before landing back in-between two additional Halo soldiers.

Predicted by Microsoft to be "the biggest game of the century", Halo: Reach is a prequel to the original series. Fortunately no children were harmed during the spectacle, although goodness knows what old Nelson would have made of it all.

Poo pastimes

And for those with the odd desire to track their bowel movements, here's the iPhone Poo Log app. According to the App Store, it's what "every iPhone and iPhone Touch has been waiting for".


EUGH: Pebbles or liquid?

We're not so sure, but no detail has been spared in the application, which allows you to record essential details such as delivery, size, shape and number of particles, as well as letting you pursue a selection of "poo pastimes". What's your poo telling you?

Julia Sagar
Content director, special projects

Julia specialises in ecommerce at Future. For the last four years, she’s split her time between leading TechRadar’s crack team of deal editors - covering all the biggest sales of the year including Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Amazon Prime Day - and helping the audiences of Future’s consumer tech and lifestyle brands (TechRadar, Tom's Guide, T3, Marie Claire, Woman & Home and more) find the best products and services for their needs and budget.

A former editor of global design website Creative Bloq, she has over 15 years’ experience in online and print journalism, and was part of the team that launched TechRadar way back in the day. When she isn't reviewing mattresses (she’s tested more than she cares to remember), or sharing tips on how to save money in the latest sales, she can usually be found writing about anything from green energy to graphic design.