It has become traditional for tech companies to publish an April Fool’s Day gag or two, and over the years they have become more and more elaborate. This year is no exception. There are some great jokes, and some very silly videos out there. We’ve gathered together our favorites for you to have a laugh, and also to make sure you’re not caught out during the day.
Updated on 04-01-2014 by Andy: Moshi’s, Toshiba’s, and GlassDoor’s jokes have been added, but Orbotrix and SwiftKey are still our favorites of the day.
The SelfieBot isn’t joking
Not every April Fools’ prank has to be side-splitting, as this one from Orbotix, makes of the Sphero, proves. Supposedly, the company is releasing the SelfieBot, a drone-like orb which floats around snapping selfies at just the right moment. It’s funny at first, then a little sad, before finally becoming rather creepy. We love it.
To appreciate Toshiba’s joke, you need to look closely
Toshiba knows how to create an April Fools’ joke. It’s not too silly, and the video is spot-on in its tone. DiGiT is a pair of high-tech gloves with everything from a camera to 64GB of storage built in. You have to watch the video carefully, so the little things – like putting your fingers over your eyes to watch a video – which at first seemed slightly plausible, become truly ridiculous.
Use real mice to charge your phone
MouseVolt is the latest charging innovation from Moshi, or it would be, if this wasn’t April 1. If you’re the sort of person who can’t stand to see good mice sit around idle, then put them to work inside this stylish wheel, so their tiny little legs charge your smartphone. We don’t believe this is an April Fools’ joke. It’s probably just another complex experiment on us humans.
Silicon Island crowd-funding campaign takes off
Silicon Island is Crowdtilt’s idea of a joke, but 25,000 backers disagree. They’ve already raised $12 million to set up a private island off the coast of California, where tech startups can work hard and play hard together, in the safety of international waters. Google’s Sergey Brin, and Oracle’s Larry Ellison are both onboard, and you can reserve your place for a mere $5,000 per month.
Shelfies could be the next big thing in selfies
A Shelfie is a “shared selfie,” an image which is integrated into a custom theme for Gmail, then sent out for everyone to use. Google has even recruited a few celebrity names to put their own Shelfies up for you to use, which makes this is just a bit too much fun to be a joke. After all, who doesn’t want Miss Piggy hiding being their email? Google says Shelfies honor Gmail’s 10th birthday, the date of which isn’t an April Fool’s joke.
SwiftKey for your hardware keyboard
Perhaps the best video we’ve seen today, matching Google Japan’s effort, is from SwiftKey. It introduces SwiftKey Flow Hard, which brings the cool swiping action from your Android keyboard to your physical keyboard. Sliding your finger across the keys is said to be 257 percent faster than normal typing.
Use Headdit to browse Reddit
Reddit says it has come up with a way to browse the site without using your hands, which may be good news for regulars at r/gonewild, but not for the guys over at r/nofap. It’s called Headdit, and it uses the motion of your head to move around threads and open links. That’s not all. A nod gives an upvote, while frowning distributes a downvote, and perhaps most intriguingly of all, if you have a cat handy, then you can access the mysterious cat mode.
Eliminate loneliness in cars with WazeDates
Why not use the time spent in your car to increase the chances of finding a partner? That’s supposedly Waze’s idea for a new version of its crowd-sourced traffic and navigation app.
AutoAwesome for resumes won’t get you that dream job
AutoAwesome for our pictures is sometimes a little too much, and AutoAwesome for a resume is way, way over the top. If you’re hoping to land that dream job, then a Pokemon-themed resume is really not the way to do it.
Nokia gives the 3310 a PureView makeover
The classic Nokia 3310, first released back in 2000, has been given a PureView makeover. Check the picture at the top of the page to see how the 41-megapixel camera and xenon flash has been added to the rear, and the display enlarged to 3-inches, with a 1280 x 768 pixel screen. It’s powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core chip and 2GB of RAM, while the little device weighs only 133 grams. We love this, and are sad it’s not real.
We’ve no idea what Sega is thinking
Sega has published its April Fools’ joke all in Japanese, and although Google Translate helps a little, we’re still not sure what it’s on about at all. From what we can make out, the MEGAne Drive puts a set of Sega MegaDrive consoles on a pair of glasses. Why? No idea!
The KeboArm eReader is equally as baffling
Another April Fool from Japan, the KeboArm projects the latest issue of your favorite manga down your arm. The warnings against using the product include not doing so when your hair is wet, and not trying it out on your pets.
Google Translate now includes support for Emoji
No, Google won’t translate what a particular emoji means, but instead will translate all your content into emoji! Everything from payments, subtitles, and HTML code will be made up of little symbols and faces.
CERN adopts Comic Sans
Yes, one of the most serious and respected scientific organizations in the world, says it has chosen one of the stupidest and most hated fonts on the Internet for its website. CERN’s blog post says from now on, all official communication channels will exclusively use Comic Sans. The post closes with the quote of the day, “CERN management also decreed that especially important physics results would from now on be accompanied online by animations of little clappy hands.” Genius.
Sony announces Power Food
Sony’s April Fool attempt will probably make your groan more than laugh, but have a look a the video anyway. The idea is, Sony has developed something called the Voltaic Enzyme, which transfers the energy found in food to our electronic gadgets. That way, the food that fuels us, also fuels our gadgets.
TechCrunch goes for the CrunchCoin
Tapping into one of the hottest subjects of 2014, crypto currencies, TechCrunch wants us to believe it’s introducing its own version called the CrunchCoin. Apparently, staff have already opted to have their salaries paid in it, and all future TechCrunch events will only accept payments in the CrunchCoin. We’re not falling for this one!
GlassDoor lists salaries in BitCoin
GlassDoor, the anonymous company review website, says it will now list salaries in BitCoin. Apparently, a Twitter software engineer earns 265 BitCoins per year, while a Starbucks barista needs to work for 53 hours to earn just one BitCoin. GlassDoor says it has also switched over to paying its staff in the virtual currency.
HTC and Samsung get “gloved” up
We compared HTC and Samsung’s similarly themed April Fools’ jokes here. Both are based on wearable tech, in this case gloves, and come with several dubious features. HTC has even included a “pull my finger” option for the under 10s.
Get photobombed by David Hasselhoff
Google has updated its Auto Awesome feature to include a celebrity photobomb, and the first star to pop up in your pictures is David Hasselhoff. Apparently set to make your pictures more #Hoffsome, the man himself comes in both static and animated form, often wearing a “Don’t Hassle the Hoff” t-shirt.
Google’s Magic Hand
Google Japan is apparently introducing the Magic Hand. It’s a device designed to make using a touchscreen more accurate and more convenient. The joke being, it does neither. While the back scratcher accessory, and the option of a left or right hand is fun, typing your message on a keyboard, while a giant mechanical finger taps out the words on your tablet’s keyboard, is a stroke of genius.
Catch ‘em all with Google Maps’ help
Google says it wants to hire a Pokemon Master, and to find the best candidate, it has challenged the world to find all the Pokemon hidden in a special edition of Google Maps. Only the best will be invited to Google later this year, where the final hiring process will take place. Judging by the video, this isn’t going to be the easiest job to get.
New wearable Roku device
The Roku Watch is the company’s first wearable device, which brings the joy of watching streaming video to a tiny screen on your wrist. It has a widescreen aspect display, a pull-out antenna, and a massive remote complete with a belt clip. Some users may find the 40 ft power cord a little restrictive though. Roku is also offering several incentives. Spend 10 hours watching it, and you get a large pizza delivered. Spend 25 hours, and Jean-Claude Van Damme will pop round to watch Bloodsport with you.
Virgin teams up with Nest
Virgin says it is bringing the magic of the Nest thermostat to its flights in the near future, offering passengers the ultimate in control over their climate. The Total Temperature Control Nest system is mounted on the seat back, and offers a wide variety of climatic experiences, including the warmth of a Cancun Afternoon to the chilly climes of a Chicago Polar Vortex.
Upload the Pirate Bay into your brain
The Pirate Bay says it is developing a device which will allow users to access all the files stored on the site through their brain. The device will supposedly “embrace your entire mind,” and with the help of a plugin, you’ll be able to “live” whatever game or film you’re watching.
The Kindle Paperscent stinks
Do you love your Kindle, but miss the smell of a proper, leather-bound book? You’ll want the Paperscent, a cover for your Kindle with “real book smells.” Buyers have the choice of either a new or old book smell, which are emitted using an aroma cartridge. There are settings on the back of the cover to control how often the scent is released, just like in public bathrooms.
This is not a Canon EOS 1 smartphone
This is supposedly a future Canon-branded camera phone. It’s not though, and is actually a photoshopped Tag Heuer smartphone from several years back. The supposed spec includes a two cameras, one with 20-megapixels and the other with 10-megapixels, plus a octa-core processor, 8GB of RAM, and Android 4.4 KitKat.
Even cars can take a selfie now
CarGurus, the car shopping website, says it will be introducing the CarSelfie soon. It works using the rear-facing parking cameras on your car, which are modified to take a photo of the car behind you, then post it on a social network.
Shoestagram shoots from the feet
This is the “next big step in wearable technology,” and comes from a “bootstrap” company called Shoestagram and Fueled.com. It’s a case and app combination for your iPhone, which allows you to take pictures when your phone is mounted in your shoe. Suspect legal concerns aside, the video even has a little side message, about how we should stay grounded in amongst all this technology.
We’ll be adding more jokes as we find them, so keep checking back throughout the day. If we’ve missed your favorite, make sure to tell us in the comments.
Updated on 04-01-2014 by Andy: Added in a classic Nokia gag about a brand new 3310 phone, which gets quite a makeover.