April Fool pranks played by people tend to be either cruel or embarrassing. April Fool pranks played by tech companies, however, are charming and endearing attempts at being funny for one day every year – and this year’s haul of PR stunts is actually pretty good. Check them out after the jump.
We don’t need to tell you about the fake Charlize Theron sex tape because you already knew about that.
8-Bit Google Maps
I think this one sort of wins hands-down, but this could be because Google owns a majority share in my identity. The dudes behind Google maps didn’t just put up a blog post or video describing the 8-bit version of Google Maps, but actually built an 8-bit version of the mapping software – there’s even a little 8-bit Table Mountain! It’s adorable. I mean way more effort than the joke needed, but whatever.
Only 500 people have been to space, only three people have been to the bottom of the ocean, but no one has ever attempted to journey to the core of an active volcano. Until now.
Using patented carbon-carbon materials pioneered for deep space exploration, Virgin is proud to announce a revolutionary new vehicle, VVS1, which will be capable of plunging three people into the molten lava core of an active volcano.
The YouTube Collection
I mean this sort of counts as a Google prank, but still: say hello to the YouTube Collection, which puts all of your favourite cat videos and dubstep remixes on home DVD at last.
Flickr Goes Vintage
Flickr had a nice riff on retro-styled photo apps like Instagram with their new ultra low-res viewing option, which turned the photo-hosting website into a low-pixel monstrosity that converted everybody’s pictures into blurry, black-and-white images . With a vintage feel.
The Peugeot RCZ: The Mood-Ring Car
Technicians at Peugeot developed this pioneering new technology by using a psychochromatic coating (mood paint), which alters the molecular structure of the paint to emit light at varying wavelengths. The driver’s moods are detected via heat sensors integrated into the steering wheel, which read their body temperature and pulse rate to change the exterior colour of the car accordingly.
The Kodak Kitten Printer
KODAK LIVEPrint technology was developed in our Rochester, NY labs by a small group of dedicated imaging scientists after a very spirited lunchtime brainstorming session. Rapid commercialization of this new technology is underway in all areas of the company and new products will be launched in stages throughout the coming year.
Alrighty. Now I’m just going to sit here and wait for all the comments about how all the really funny pranks got ignored.
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