WTF?! Let's be honest: most of the time we write LOL, we aren't really laughing out loud. The acronym has become the online equivalent of a real-life "heh," the kind one utters when acknowledging what someone said was intended to be funny, just not funny enough to raise a chortle. Now, however, a device has been created that will only allow people to type LOL if they really did laugh out loud.

Brian Moore set out to restore the authenticity of LOL by creating a verifying device that plugs into a keyboard and PC. Using a microphone attached to a collar, the LOL Verifier checks to make sure you actually laughed before writing a reply. Users who chuckle away will be able to write the acronym and see a green light, a verified tick, and a timestamp. Trying to write LOL without laughing will result in a red light and the words automatically being replaced with something else---in this case, "that's funny."

Moore says he trained the device on three minutes of his own laughs, or about 100 of them, using the Edge Impulse development platform for machine learning. The device itself uses a Xiao sense microcontroller and a Teensy 4.1 development board.

The true meaning of LOL seems to have been lost these days; many people, this writer included, will often write something along the lines of "I did a real LOL" if something makes them actually laugh. Moore's device could give LOL the same effect it once had, but the verifier could also lead to users letting out fake laughs, much like in real life. And what about those times when LOL is used in a sarcastic way?

Surprisingly, LOL was the fourth most Googled text abbreviation/acronym in 2021, despite the acronym for Laugh Out Loud being traced back to the 1980s. It was used extensively during the nineties when mobile phones, many of which had data plans with a set number of texts, each with character limits, started to explode in popularity, and LOL entered the Oxford English dictionary in 2011. Interestingly, LOL was first used as an initialism in the 1960s for Little Old Lady.

Moore gave a hint of the next device he's working on: an LMAO verifier. It's unclear exactly how that would work, though perhaps it's just a joke, in which case, LOL!

h/t: PC Gamer