In what has become a tradition among American tech companies, the final weekend of March presented some very clever pranks, jokes and stunts that made some people feel pretty foolish while others laughed at their expense.
In 2017, April Fools’ Day became a sort of publicity stunt for tech companies such as Google, T-Mobile, Chegg, and even Japanese automaker Honda. Here are some of the highlights of their pranks:
Users of mobile devices powered by the Android operating system got a pleasant surprise when their Google Maps app received an unusual update. Clicking on a pink icon took users to random locations around the world that were taken over by Ms. Pac Man.
The venerable Japanese automobile brand got in the spirit of April Fools’ Day with a fake YouTube brochure for its new line of steering wheels equipped with Honda Horn Emoji buttons, which ostensible play a horn melody based on the particular mood of drivers.
This online education company, which specializes in textbooks and internet course materials, offered a new energy drink for stressed out college students forced to cram for midterm and final exams. The caffeine-loaded Chegg energy drink would give students the ability to stay up for three days and write a thesis.
This website is known for its online repair manuals and do-it-yourself tool kits for repairing just about everything. Just before April Fools’ Day, iFixIt announced a Micro Tech Toolkit small enough for ants to repair their colonies.
In this era of smart wearable devices, wireless carries T-Mobile has outdone the competition with the ultimate wearable, the ONEsie. As its name and YouTube video implied, the ONEsie is a one-piece pink coverall that turns T-Mobile customers into human Wi-Fi hotspots and provides what the company cleverly describes as “complete coverage.”
A smart home device for backyards? Google has the Internet of Things covered with Google Gnome, a snarky take on its Google Home IoT hub. Essentially, this smart speaker is shaped as a garden gnome and is powered by the Google Assistant.