Microsoft's bizarre new alarm clock app for Android makes you take a selfie before it turns off

Meet Microsoft Mimicker, an Android alarm clock app from the Microsoft Garage skunkworks that forces you to play a short game before you can make it stop chiming.

Seriously. Sometimes, Mimicker asks you to take a selfie that matches a mood. Sometimes, it might ask you to take a picture of something green. Sometimes, you might have to say a tongue twister.

It doesn’t sound like a lot of fun to me.

But I can still appreciate the technology under the hood: Mimicker uses Microsoft’s Project Oxford machine learning technology to understand the emotions in your selfie, recognise the colour green in your photos, and identify correctly that you’ve said the tongue twister properly.

Here’s a video showing Mimicker in action:

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So, yes, it’s silly. It’s also another roadsign on the way to smarter machines. I just hope that the robots let me sleep in a little.

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