April 1st, 2014. Posted by Dan Harris
Yesterday, a colleague sent me a video promoting a new device which attaches to your iPhone and pumps out a bacon scent in the morning, when the alarm clock goes off. ‘Wake Up & Smell the Bacon’, veteran food brand Oscar Meyer have named it.
Implausible? I thought so, immediately passing it off as an early April Fools’ joke. Clearly I was the fool, however, as some quick internet research suggested otherwise. It’s completely real, as the Chicago Tribune reported last month.
As each year passes, and as technology evolves at an alarming pace, it’s becoming more and more difficult to determine what is an April Fools’ joke, and what is genuine.
On April 1, 2011, Google, who are no strangers to April Fools’ pranks, unveiled Gmail Motion, which promised to use body gestures to compose and send emails in Gmail. It failed to fool most people who refused to believe that technology such as this was possible, but the boffins from the Institute of Creative Technologies quickly proved them (and Google) wrong two days later by pointing out that the technology already existed - because they built it.
I’ve trawled the web for this year’s best April Fools’ Jokes. Could any of them become reality any time soon?
Universal free Wi-Fi is now a reality thanks to micro-routers strapped to, er, pigeons. “They’re everywhere and non-migratory, so our coverage doesn’t fly south for the winter”, says Tim Verhoeven, Samsung’s Senior Pigeon Engineer. Samsung Fli-Fy begins its trials in Trafalgar Square, obviously.
Amazon to deliver babies by drone
In December, the world’s largest online retailer revealed its plans to use unmanned drones, or ‘Octocopters’, to deliver goods to customers. Now it’s going one step further, using ‘Octomomcopters’ to deliver babies to front doors around the world.
Technology start-up Sphero makes robotic balls that are controlled with a smartphone or tablet. Now they’ve latched on to the selfie craze by inventing a flying robot – the SelfieBot – that follows you around, taking selfie-style photos of you. Creepy.
Awesome Photobombs with David Hasselhoff
Also using the selfie craze as the basis of its annual April 1 prank, Google have announced their Google+ Auto Awesome initiative, which aims to bring photos to life by superimposing celebrity photobombs on them. The fun starts with The Hoff.
Google Maps Pokémon Master
The Maps division of the technology giant is hiring. They’re after a Pokémon Master: the world’s greatest digital explorer. Enquire within.
NASA to land spacecraft on the sun
It can’t be done, can it? NASA certainly thinks so, announcing its goal to land a probe on the surface of the sun. But only at night, as it’s “far too hot during the day”.