Written by IEEE | April 1, 2016 | Updated: December 15, 2020
It’s that time of year again — social media has helped April Fools’ Day dominate internet bandwidth every April 1st. . Your favorite companies roll out a weird, new tech product that could be real and comment boards overflow with speculation. Sites you visit every day suddenly look and act different, or a new, obscure service is announced. If anything, April Fools’ Day helps humanize tech companies, so we created a roundup of the best past April Fools’ Day pranks in the tech space.
- VR is a hot tech trend that’s becoming mainstream. On April Fools’ Day, Jetsetter created a listing where you could purchase a full VR hotel experience on their hotel booking website. While this service is meant to make us laugh, VR experiences that offer trips to exotic destinations all from the comfort of your couch are a very real trend.
- Microsoft made a joke out of biometrics, taking Touch ID technology and incorporating it into their fake offering, a touch screen that claims to use “palm to vein technology.” A blend between palm reading and biometric scanning, the prank prototype computer was able to know what you wanted to search for based on your palm’s connection to your brain.
- Fast food companies are always looking for new ways to get their product to hungry customers. Two companies debuted their new modes of delivery on April Fools’ Day. Jimmy John’s took to their Twitter feed to announce that they’d be leveraging drones to deliver their gourmet sandwiches. With Amazon continuing its drone tests for package delivery, it’s clear that the Jimmy John’s joke was funny, but not far-fetched.
- Driverless cars continue to make a big splash, and were a huge topic of discussion at SXSW this year. This technology will hit the road — literally — eventually, so it’s not crazy that this April Fools’ Day joke was taken seriously. Domino’s Pizza unveiled a driverless pizza delivery car last year that brought your pizza to you without having to interact with humans. Last month, they took their joke and began to create a very real prototype of an autonomous pizza delivery vehicle in Australia! With the technology of driverless cars improving, one day this might be a real component of food delivery.
We’re excited to see fun and faux products and services roll out today. Who knows, maybe some of the ideas that seem like a stretch will actually be a reality thanks to future engineers.