Lyft's Mono Promises Hands-Free Ride-Hailing, But Is It For Real?

Lyft unveiled a new device called Mono that supposedly lets users hail a ride without their phones. 

YouTube / Lyft

Using a ride-sharing or ride-hailing app doesn't exactly require much physical exertion (it certainly beats walking), but Lyft claims to have a device that can make the process even easier.

It's called the Mono, and in a blog post Lyft said it enables "autonomous ride hailing." That refers to the ability of users to hail a ride without their phones, and isn't related to self-driving cars. But given how the whole thing is supposed to work, and how close we are to April Fools' Day, we wouldn't be surprised if Lyft's Mono was a prank.

The device itself fits on a user's hand, and is shaped like a closed fist with an outstretched thumb. Lyft claims that it includes a micro controller that can track the wearer's movements, allowing them to summon a ride simply by raising a hand. Lights on the "thumb" indicate status: they glow when a request has been sent, blink when a match is made, blink rapidly when the car is en route, and pulse when it arrives.

Lyft

Mono automatically connects to the Lyft app, so users just need to have their phones on their person for it to work. Lyft claims the device is "handmade in the U.S.A. with a powerful in-device processor and lithium-ion battery."

This is all supposed to save the trouble of pulling out a phone and swiping, but having to wear a device on one's hand that looks like a Tron prop doesn't exactly seem convenient either. That's what has us thinking this may be an April Fools' joke, although the Mono website does let users sign up for one. Lyft says they will be available "mid-April."