Every year on April 1st, many technology companies and other related businesses put out a press release or a video about their new product or service they have came out with. The result, creativity and effort put into these products vary every time. For companies, April Fools Day is a day not only to do whatever you feel would be funny, but also to attract potential worker by showing how fun and relaxed these companies are. None of these are real, of course, but they all try to be humorous, just for the fun of it. Here are some of the best pranks by notable tech giants or startups:
After all the recent talk of Apple’s TouchID and other biometric products, BeardSwipe is a good channel into mainstream technology. basically, BeardSwipe is an app that would allow you to answer calls, buy apps, and unlock your phone by just swiping your phone across your jaw and beard. Like Google Nose, BeardSwipe is based of a absurd gesture with a phone and seeing how many people would actually do it. If the technology to make a “beardprint” was available and made, I’m sure this app would actually be a success. As BeardSwipe’s website says, if you have a beard, it says with you. You can’t just “lose it”. Funny and practical.
AirBnb’s AirBrb List Your Desk
Airbnb, the living space rental service app, has taken their service one step further for this April Fools. They have made Airbrb, an “app” that would let people rent out their desk for anyone to use. For some reason, if you need to work and don’t have a desk (a seemingly rare situation) you can just go to Airbrb and rent out a desk while the usual user is at break or lunch. Unlike BeardSwipe, Airbrb is a more of a joke than a potential service, but fun all the same.
Have you ever been in a situation where you want to take a selfie, but your arm isn’t long enough? or you get into the right position? Or even worse, you forgot your phone? Orbotix, the company behind Sphero, has made a solution to your problems: #Selfiebot. #Selfiebot is a flying orb-like drone with a big camera on the front. The #Selfiebot follows you around, and based of the video below, I am guessing it recognizes that your are looking at it and takes a selfie. Obviously, if you watched the video, the “#selfiebots” are animated, though it is a funny and intriguing concept.
Everyone knows LinkedIn, the social media site for business people. Like Airbnb, LinkedIn has expanded their service, now tapping into a social media craze to draw traffic to their site: cats. You might have been wondering what CYMK stands for. Well, it’s Cats You May Know. LinkedIn’s new “feature” will allow cats to make profiles highlighting their skills such as “speed napping”, friend other cats and even endorse other cats. A perfect cat social network.
Google’s Pokemon Challenge
Last but certainly not the least is Google’s Pokemon challenge. The Google Maps team does something every year, and this year the theme was the fantastical card game Pokemon. (product placement much?) The team sprinkled little Pokemon all over the mobile Google Maps, which if you found, you could click on and collect, then go back and look at your amazing collection. (they took it down already) There were 150 Pokemon possible to find, and supposedly, whoever got the most Pokemon would start working for Google as their official “Pokemon Master”. Of course this is all fictional, but it would sure excite the younger generation.
Every year on April Fools Day, these companies stop their drab, boring workload and work on something fun and creative, which must be a breath of fresh air for them. And of course, nobody could enjoy it more than the public. If you want to see last years April Fools Day pranks, click on this highlighted word: sasquatch.
April Fools Day is about celebrating fools. People who are so gullible, they’ll believe everything. April Fools day have almost become a tradition for people in America, and big companies have caught on to it to. Here is a round-up of everything that happend on April 1, 2013:
If you’ve searched the web this morning(April 1, 2013), which you probably have, you might have noticed Google’s new addition to its browser, Google Nose Beta. Google Nose Beta allows you to smell anything, from wet dogs to the inside of an Egyptian tomb, right from your browser. It unlocks infinite possibilities. Google have already started working off it, making AdScent Beta, advertising with smells, Foodles, Google Doodles with smells, YouTube Nosed Captions, comments with smells on YouTube, and Scratch and Sniff E-books.
Google Nose “uses” a high-tech inter sound-wave system that temporarily aligns molecules to let you smell whatever you want to smell. But say you want to smell a rose. Or a ghost. Google’s Aromabase has it. With over 15 million scentibytes, Google’s Aromabase has tons and tons of smells. And if you have an Android phone or tablet, you’re in luck. Android Ambient Odor Detection allows you to detect a scent, and send it to whoever may like/dislike what you smelled. As Google said “Your internet, smellier.”
Ever since YouTube started, their main goal was to find the best video in the world. So far, millions of videos have been uploaded and the contest has gone from a small question to a internet sensation. Many companies and events get information off YouTube. People post funny, cool, interesting, or just crazy stuff on YouTube. The original contest was forgotten. But, this morning(April 1, 2013), YouTube made an announcement that will change everything.
YouTube announced that at midnight, they will no longer be accepting videos, or even let the public look at previously uploaded videos. They will move on, and go back to they’re original question: What is the greatest video of all time? I know, most of you reading this will say, “Gangnam Style” without hesitation. But the judges are trying to make it as fair as possible. Still, they have to look through all the 2 million+ videos, so give them a break. It will be interesting what they will come up with, so stay tuned for my follow-up article when YouTube does announce the winner in 2023.
Ever get tired of the plain white and red of Gmail? Well, the Gmail team thought of that to. They even went as far as to making the beautiful, fast and powerful Gmail Blue.
Gmail Blue is the exact same thing as Gmail except…. wait for it……it’s all blue. The compose button. The word compose. The compose window. It’s all blue. You don’t have to set it blue. It just is. But why blue? Well, the Gmail team went through lots of colors, like yellow, green, brown, red, but found blue the most fitting. Blue also represents nature(well, green really represents nature but…). They wanted to show that nature is great, but not even mother nature could match the fastness and smoothness of Gmail Blue.
Google Treasure Maps Mode
Treasure is always something pirates leave behind. Captain Kidd, one of the more successful pirates, is soposed to have left a giant treasure hidden around the world. And recently, the Google Street View team found Captain Kidd’s maps at the bottom of a coral reef. Tons of them. All the maps they found are partially not decoded, meaning you have to hold the map a certain way or be at a certain place for the map to work. The Google team knew they couldn’t do it alone, so they decided to make Google Treasure Maps Mode.
Google Treasure Maps Mode is a virtual scan of all the maps the team found, but still with the special unlockable features. And guess what? Anyone can use it. All you have to do is go on Google Maps, and go to the place you usually go to change the type of map, and Treasure will be there. Hit that, and the virtual map will be there. Over time, the treasure map will be decoded by the world, and all we will have to do is find the treasure. Who will get the treasure is another story entirely.
Virgin’s Bottomless Plane
It’s not what it sounds like. The plane is not really bottomless, but it does have a glass bottom. I know it sounds absolutely crazy, but Virgin says tourism will never be the same. Still, it would provide a beautiful ride for everyone, not only the person with the window seat. But, if you are afraid of heights, I recommend you stay away from it.
April Fools Day is always a laugh. Wether it is food coloring or clock changing, it is always fun to watch someone be tricked. Led by Google, lots and lots of companies have followed that suit, and have made fake products or services just for laughs. It is one day of the year where designers, analysts, CEOs, product managers and most everyone else gets to have fun. But, some of the things they design are actually pretty cool, and would be awesome to have in the real world. I mean, how cool would it be to fly on a see-through plane while looking up what a wet dog smells like. Then you get a blue email telling you to look out the window, and find out you are above a clue to Captain Kidd’s treasure! In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of these ideas do get into the real world someday. And I’m not kidding.