It’s April 1 and once again tech firms are among those pulling April Fool’s Day pranks.
It can be hard to figure out which stories are gags given the way unbelievable tech ideas turn out to be reality: a few years ago the idea of a 3D printer would surely have seemed laughable.
That said, 2014 doesn’t appear to be a vintage year for spoof stories, with many firms making it all-too-obvious they are just after publicity and putting too little effort into credibility or creativity. (That said, we’ll forgive the Dominos Edibox, pictured above, which is a dough-based delivery box designed to reduce packaging waste in a tasty manner.)
Here’s a few from the tech world:
Google has a disappointingly unconvincing claim that it will challenge explorers to use its map service to hunt wild Pokemon:
Google also claims that Chrome users on mobile devices will automatically be able to translate web pages into emoji, the logic being that with each character conveying more information than a normal letter, it makes pages shorter and thus quicker to scroll through:
And if you don’t want to use your fingertip for scrolling at all, Google Japan has you covered with a remotely controlled stylus/finger:
Google isn’t just the creator of gags, however, but also the subject. Pocket-Lint has come up with Google Glass Solo, which uses a monocle rather than spectacles. The idea is that if you walk into a situation where you’d be embarrassed or otherwise don’t want people to know you are using the tech, you simply relax your cheek and eyebrow muscles to release the monocle, which drops down, safely attached to a lanyard.
Reddit claims it has created headdit, a device that allows you to navigate the site and give a thumbs up or thumbs down to stories, all using nothing but facial movements. (That one may be a prank now, but I’ll bet at least one adult video site introduces a similar navigation tool within a few years.)
A British bathroom store says it has created Mirrorgram, a high-tech mirror that lets you take and tweet selfies, with the option of several filters.
Samsung claims it will be using pigeons to provide enhanced Wi-Fi coverage across London:
Sometimes a prank is all too obvious however. Both Samsung and HTC have claimed to be offering high-tech gloves. Samsung Fingers supposedly incorporates a highly-flexible palm display with temperature gauge and solar charger, while HTC Gluuv is a bulkier mount for your smartphone.
The prize for the prank involving the oldest, least sophisticated tech must surely go to the National Trust in the south west of England, which manages the Avebury Stone Circle, a set of ancient rocks which appear to be arranged to coordinate with the summer solstice. The Trust claims today that it spent this weekend moving one of the rocks, weighing several tons, in order to adjust to the British version of Daylight Savings Time.
CERN have decided to troll typographers everywhere by announcing it is switching its official typeface to Comic Sans. (It’s a spoof on a real event when one of the announcements relating to the Higgs boson did indeed involve a slide in Comic Sans.)
There are also a few cultural gags as well, the best being British railway operator Virgin Trains having replaced all the location signs at Wolverhampton Station: