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April Fool's Day Technology Hoaxes
German police receive new radio equipment. (1923)
German police officers demonstrated the new radio receivers they would be equipped with, to help them stay in touch with headquarters and receive reports about riots, demonstrations, and crime. The photos appear to have been produced as part of a humorous public relations effort by the German police. More…
Man Flies By Own Lung Power. (1934)
In April 1934, many American newspapers (including The New York Times) printed a photo of a man flying through the air by means of a device powered by the breath from his lungs. The man, identified as German pilot Erich Kocher, was said to be blowing into a box on his chest, which activated rotors that created a powerful suction effect, lifting him aloft. Skis on his feet served as landing gear, and a tail fin allowed him to steer. The photo was actually a joke from the April Fool's Day edition of the Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung. More…
Bringing April Fool Gags Up To Date. (1949)
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The Yonghy Bonghy Bo. (1957)
Rear Admiral Tully Shelley, managing director of a company of oil refinery and construction engineers, designed a match striking machine as an April Fool's Day joke. He called it his "Yonghy Bonghy Bo" (an allusion to Edward Lear's poem, "The Courtship of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo"). However, the machine actually did work and could be used to light a cigarette. More…
Instant Color TV. (1962)
Sveriges Television, Sweden's National TV broadcaster, revealed that it had developed new technology that allowed people to see color pictures on their black-and-white sets. The station's technical expert, Kjell Stensson, explained that the technology took advantage of the prismatic nature of light and the phenomenon of "double slit interference." To see color images, all a viewer had to do was pull a nylon stocking over the tv screen. After Stensson demonstrated the process, thousands of viewers at home obediently imitated him. Actual color broadcasts only commenced in Sweden on April 1, 1970. More…
Smellovision. (1965)
BBC TV interviewed a London University professor who had perfected a technology he called "smellovision," allowing viewers to smell aromas produced in the television studio in their homes. The professor explained that his machine broke scents down into their component molecules which were then transmitted through the screen. The professor demonstrated by placing some coffee beans and onions into the smellovision machine. He asked viewers to report by noon whether they had smelled anything. Numerous viewers called in from across the country to confirm that they had distinctly experienced these scents. Some claimed the onions made their eyes water. More…

First Practical Touring Machine. (1976)
Byte Magazine published a technology update describing an invention that it hailed as the “first practical Touring Machine”: This month in the hills of New Hampshire, we discovered an example of computer technology in the form of the first practical Touring Machine, shown here complete with a unary relocatable based operator (in IBM OS PL/1 parlance). For those individuals having less than a passing acquaintance with computer science, the Turing machine is a famous mathematical construction first formulated some decades ago by Alan Mathison Turing, and which can be shown to be logically equivalent to any digital computer implementation. A Turing Machine is to computing what a More…
The Amazing Apple-Pip. (1981)
Computer manufacturer Microsense ran an ad in The Guardian announcing the "Apple-Pip," which it described as "an amazing breakthrough in computer miniaturisation." "The new Apple-Pip is a tiny computer only 3/4" high which you can grow to full size in your own garden in just seven days. Simply sow the Apple-Pip in fertile soil during a guaranteed sunshine week, cover lightly with a soft mulch of old unpaid invoices, inaccurate stock control sheets and outdated sales forecasts — and wait to be amazed. In two days, the monitor screen will break surface. In seven days your new computer will be fully grown and ready for use. And that's not all! If you leave the fully grown computer in More…
The Black-Hole Diode. (1981)
Byte Magazine, in its What's New column, described a useful new computer component, the 7N-∞ BHD (black-hole diode): "Another new addition in the small-components market is the 7N-∞ BHD (black-hole diode). This device has two inputs and no output. Care must be taken to shield this component appropriately or it may absorb the unit it is placed in. The 7N-∞ will accept any voltage or current value. It is useful for GI (garbage-in) applications. Due to the light-absorption qualities of the device, we could not provide a photograph. Contact Spatial Regression Ltd, POB 463, Paulborough NH 03458." More…
Debugging Tool. (1982)
Byte magazine profiled a new Debugging Tool that "Irons Out Circuit Problems": The General Electric Model F340 Electric Iron serves as a handy debugging tool for crucial logic circuits that must exhibit planar topology or use especially thin-film substrates. Using the latest deionized-vapor-injection technology, the Model F340 can be used with circuits arrayed on fiber substrates up to 0.1 cm (approximately 1/8 inch) thick, assuming proper adjustments for duration of treatment. More…
Erase-Only Memory. (1982)
Byte Magazine described an "erase-only memory" circuit in it's "What's New" section: The Stanislowski Electronics 3131.3 is a 4 Kbyte, vigorous, random-access erase-only memory (RAEOM) Imaginary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (IMOS) integrated circuit (IC)... Possible applications include disposing of obsolete data and programs, destroying incriminating evidence, and amusing computer hobbyists. Due to the patented IMOS process, the 3131.3 remains fully functional even when power is removed, making it ideal for use during power blackouts. More…
The 5-megabyte Hard Drive. (1982)
The Sinclair ZX81, launched in 1981, was the first cheap mass-market home computer. However, it lacked a hard drive, storing data instead on audio tape cassettes. However, Byte magazine revealed that a third-party supplier, Hindsight Engineering, was introducing a 5-megabyte hard disk for the ZX81. (At the time, 5 megabytes was considered an extremely large size): Responding to an obvious need of ZX81 owners for more data storage space, Hindsight Engineering has developed a 5-megabyte hard-disk system for the Sinclair ZX81. The system is available in either assembled or kit forms. The kit includes instructions for building your own clean room for kit assembly. A DOS will soon be available. More…
The Traductor. (1984)
Belgium's RTBF TV network aired a segment about the "Traductor." This device, invented by Count Otto Von Glutz, could automatically translate from Flemish to French, and vice versa. It did so using a sophisticated computer language called Belgax. The invention promised to put an end to linguistic quarrels in Belgium. More…
The Transporter Portable Computer. (1985)
Byte magazine featured a new portable computer, available from the Honda Corporation, called the "Transporter": "The first truly transportable computer. With a few simple twists, you can transform the Transporter from a portable computer (with full keyboard, 24-line by 80-column display, and two microfloppy-disk drives) into a single-passenger automobile... The Transporter is 100 percent compatible with the popular Toyota Corolla and runs on most operating roads." Byte later received a call from a USA Today reporter inquiring about the Transporter. More…
Soybean Computer Disks. (1985)
Byte Magazine featured a section called "What's Not," instead of its usual "What's Hot" section. Included were technological gadgets such as computer disks made of soybeans: If merely erasing sensitive data is not enough for you, Soycure Systems of Tokyo has developed the ultimate in disk security. Made entirely of processed soybeans, Parasoya Disks are writable, readable, and edible. Parasoya disks contain 84 percent more protein than average floppy disks and are available in 5¼-inch (regular) and 3½-inch (crunchy) formats. More…
The MacKnifer. (1985)
Byte magazine described a new product called the MacKnifer: "Ennui Associates has announced MacKnifer, a hardware attachment that mounts on the side of your Macintosh and sharpens knives, scissors, lawn-mower blades—anything in your home that needs sharpening. With MacKnifer's patented double-action grinding wheel, you can easily sharpen any utensil in less time than it takes the Mac to open a file. According to the manufacturer, MacKnifer is so easy to use that you can operate it within 30 minutes of taking it out of the box. Turn your spare computing time into extra cash with a knife-sharpening business on the side... of your Macintosh." More…
First Photograph Discovered. (1987)
The camera manufacturer Olympus ran an ad in The Guardian announcing the discovery of "the first picture ever taken." The picture had been discovered "in a cave high in the remote Outer Fokus Mountains." It had been taken by Yorimoto Hishida around 1782, "almost a full half century before the earliest work of either Fox Talbot or Nicéphore Niépce." More…
Driver’s Weight Sensors. (1989)
BMW unveiled a "significant advance in anti-theft technology" — Driver's Weight Sensors: "DWS stands for Driver's Weight Sensor. A unique system that compares the driver's weight with a pre-programmed value stored in the sensor's computer memory... The sensor weight reading is then compared to the programmed weight in the memory, and provided this falls to within ±5%, the car will start normally. If, however, the figure exceeds these tolerances, then a discreet gong sounds, and the entire ignition system is shut down." Interested readers were urged to contact Hugh Phelfrett at BMW. More…
The Chippy. (1989)
The British childrens show Going Live told its viewers about a revolutionary new portable music player called "The Chippy" that would soon be sold in stores. Host Phillip Schofield said that it was no bigger than a credit card but could store hundreds of songs. And soon, Schofield said, such a device might be able to hold an artist's entire back catalogue. Plus, it could play back any song instantly. It achieved this by storing all the songs on a computer chip. Thus, the name. (The name had a double meaning, since in British slang a "chippy" refers to a fish-and-chips shop.) Schofield invited viewers to call in and request a song for "The Chippy" to play, and thousands phoned the station. Toward the end of the show, he revealed that The Chippy was an April Fool joke. More…
Moore’s Law Rewritten. (1990)
Intel employees circulated a spoof newsletter revealing historical discoveries related to chip-making, such as the fact that archaeologists had uncovered evidence of the existence of chip-making factories in Ancient Egypt. The newsletter quoted eminent archaeologist Lord Dhrystone as saying, "We never imagined we'd find an active semiconductor industry in a major goat-herding area. Too much dust." The newsletter also revealed the unknown origins of the famous "Moore's law." Apparently Gordon Moore, Intel Chairman, had once scribbled on the back of a phone bill the phrase 'Buy Intel chips. They'll get twice as big every year or so,' as he brainstormed about ways to get people to buy more Intel chips. It was his secretary, Jean Jones, who rewrote the phrase to the more famous, "The number of transistors on a chip will double every 18 months." More…
Blue Can Warning. (1996)
Virgin Cola announced that in the interest of consumer safety it had integrated a new technology into its cans. When the cola passed its sell-by date, the liquid would react with the metal in the can, turning the can bright blue. Virgin warned that consumers should therefore avoid purchasing all blue cans. Coincidentally, Pepsi had recently unveiled its newly designed cans which were bright blue. More…
Internet Spring Cleaning. (1997)
An email message circulated warning that the internet would be shut down for cleaning for 24 hours from March 31st until April 2nd. This cleaning was said to be necessary to clear out the "electronic flotsam and jetsam" that had accumulated in the network. Dead e-mail and inactive ftp, www, and gopher sites would be purged. The cleaning would be done by "five very powerful Japanese-built multi-lingual Internet-crawling robots (Toshiba ML-2274) situated around the world." During this period, users were warned to disconnect all devices from the internet. The message supposedly originated from the "Interconnected Network Maintenance Staff, Main Branch, Massachusetts Institute of Technology." More…
Left-Handed Toshiba. (1997)
Declaring that "there's nothing looney about the lefties," Toshiba announced the new "Toshiba Tecra F00-LDU" — a portable computer designed for left-handed users: "The F00-LDU is a fully functional notebook packed with all the features you'd expect from the world leader in portable computing — only it fits left handed people like a glove. The major bays and keys are reversed for clarity and there's a stunning left handed screen." More…
Webnode. (1999)
A press release issued over Business Wire announced the creation of Webnode, a new company recently granted a government contract to regulate ownership of "nodes" on the Next Generation Internet (NGI). Each of these nodes (there were said to be over 50 million of them) represented a route that data could travel over the NGI. The company was licensed to sell each node for $100. Nodes would increase in value depending on how much traffic they routed. Owners would also receive usage fees for the data that flowed across their section of the internet. However, only individuals could own nodes, and no person could own more than 1,000 nodes. This limit was supposedly made in order to avoid More…
Y2K solved. (1999)
The Singapore Straits Times reported that a 17-year-old student from Singapore called Jack Hon Si Yue had created a small computer program that could solve the Y2K problem (caused by the inability of older computers to distinguish between 1900 and 2000). The teenager, described as being camera-shy and a C student, was said to have worked out the Y2K solution in 29 minutes while solving an algebra problem for his homework. Jack showed the solution to his father who, in turn, presented it to a technology consulting group known as Gardner. The student's family and the Gardner group then formed a joint venture called Polo Flair to commercialize the solution. Revenues from the joint venture were expected to top $50 million by September, 1999. The Straits Times received numerous calls from journalists and computer specialists seeking more information about the story. One television journalist wanted to know if Jack Hon Si Yue could be persuaded to go on TV, despite the fact that he was camera-shy. Clues that the article was a joke included the name of the joint venture, Polo Flair (an anagram for April Fool) and Jack's name, Si Yue, which means "April" in Chinese. More…
Total Home Remote Electricity. (1999)
Executives at 130 major companies received a professionally designed package of information about an exciting new product: Total Home Remote Electricity. This technology, manufactured by Ottmar Industries of Switzerland, allowed electricity to be beamed wirelessly anywhere within a house. Simply plug one of the small "projectors" into a wall outlet, and a safe electrical "aura" would envelop the home. By attaching a converter to any appliance, the appliance would be able to receive power at any location within the aura, even outside on the roof. "Did you ever imagine making toast on your roof?" the promotional material asked. Accompanying the ads was a letter from a company called Hoffman More…
Telepathic E-Mail. (1999)
Red Herring Magazine profiled a revolutionary new internet technology called Orecchio (Italian for "ear"). This technology used the TIDE communications protocol (short for "Telepathic Internet Data Exchange") to allow users to compose and send e-mail telepathically. To e-mail telepathically users wore a device nestled between their ear and skull. The company developing this device was Tidal Wave Communications, led by Yuri Maldini, a computer genius from Estonia. Adding credibility to the story was a reference to some real research at Emory University in which researchers had allowed a paralyzed man to move a cursor across a computer screen by implanting a device in his brain. Mr. Maldini, who had once been employed by the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence, claimed that he had developed the idea for Orecchio from the encrypted communications systems he had put in place during the Gulf War and the conflict in Somalia. Nevertheless, despite the revolutionary potential of telepathic e-mail, skeptics abounded. Clarence Madison, managing partner of New World Associates, was quoted as saying, "I know crap when I see it. This is crap." Ignoring such critics, Mr. Maldini was pressing More…
Kencom Limited. (2001)
The Sunday East African Standard in Kenya printed an advertisement and a back-page story profiling a new mobile phone service provider called Kencom Limited. The new mobile phones would come with built-in scratch cards, internet service, videocams, and TV screens. What's more, service would cost a low rate of only four shillings per minute. To make the service even more attractive, a coupon was offered with the enticement that the first 3,000 people to submit the coupon would receive free phones. By noon, over 5,000 entry forms had already been submitted to the East African Standard Town Office in Nairobi. Among the hopefuls dropping off coupons were said to be top military personnel, politicians, and businessmen. More…
Cybrary. (2001)
The British Observer revealed an exciting new idea sweeping through the internet community — a "cybrary," or cyber-library. The idea, dreamed up by London dot.com entrepreneur Lee Peters, was to "store, on paper, all the books available on the net." Peters explained that he wanted to add a "tactile dynamic" to the internet experience. He prophesied that one day millions of people would be able to go "to a public building and handle the texts, creating for the first time a real physical interface." Peters admitted that storage space would be a problem, but he revealed that he was already in talks with a number of London councils which had recently closed their libraries who were willing to offer space to the venture. More…
PigeonRank. (2002)
Google revealed the secret at the heart of its search technology: PigeonRank. Clusters of pigeons had been trained to compute the relative values of web pages: PigeonRank's success relies primarily on the superior trainability of the domestic pigeon (Columba livia) and its unique capacity to recognize objects regardless of spatial orientation… By collecting flocks of pigeons in dense clusters, Google is able to process search queries at speeds superior to traditional search engines, which typically rely on birds of prey, brooding hens or slow-moving waterfowl to do their relevance rankings. When a search query is submitted to Google, it is routed to a data coop where monitors flash More…
Astro Boy to the Rescue. (2003)
The Tokyo Shimbun reported that the Japanese government was planning to send robots modelled on the 1960s cartoon character Astro Boy to assist with post-war reconstruction in Iraq. They noted: "It is partly aimed at showing the world the right way to use science technology following the loss of confidence in US high-tech weapons." More…
The Honest Thief File-Sharing Network. (2003)
In late February, a Dutch company calling itself The Honest Thief announced it would host a new, totally legal file-sharing service. It explained that it was able to do this because a recent Dutch court ruling allowed the Netherlands to become a legal haven for file sharing companies. Large amounts of press attention followed, including an article in the Wall Street Journal. But visitors to The Honest Thief website on April 1st were met with an announcement: April Fool! There was no legal file-sharing network. The hoax was a stunt to promote a book of the same name (The Honest Thief) by Pieter Plass. More…
Shellac, Sound of the Future. (2003)
NPR's All Things Considered ran a segment about the efforts by preservationists to transfer audio recordings to a durable medium that would last far into the future. The medium they had decided upon was shellac — the material Edison had used when he first invented recording technology back in the nineteenth century. Archivists had identified this as "the one rock-solid format... that works every time." Works such as Vanilla Ice's debut CD were being painstakingly transferred onto shellac. The report concluded: "If funding levels can be maintained, experts estimate the archiving project can catch up with recordings made before 2003 by April 1, 2089." More…
George Foreman USB iGrill. (2003)
Thinkgeek.com introduced the George Foreman USB iGrill, the "low-fat, high-bandwidth solution to your networked cooking needs": "The George Foreman USB iGrill conveniently connects to your home or office PC using USB 2.0 technology, and provides a sophisticated web-based cooking interface. Download recipes, enter in the type of food, weight and desired degree of doneness, and the iGrill handles the rest. Did you know that a medium rare 1/4 lb. hamburger made from 80% lean beef takes 1 minute and 45 seconds less cook time than an identical patty made from 95% lean prime Black Angus? The iGrill does. As your meal cooks, the subtle glow from under the unit increases brightness and pulses More…
Human Gets Computer Virus. (2003)
The website BetterHumans.com posted news of the first case of a human catching a computer virus: "A software developer from Houston, Texas has become the first human to contract a computer virus, microbiologists have confirmed. John Newman, an employee of vTouch Systems, came into contact with the virus through the use of a neural interface that his company is developing. Avril DuChamps, a spokesperson for vTouch Systems, confirmed yesterday at a press conference that Newman had come down with the virus. All activities at vTouch have been suspended until further notice." More…
PC EZ-Bake Oven. (2004)
Thinkgeek.com, an online retailer of offbeat gadgets, continued a multiyear tradition of posting fake gadgets on April 1st by debuting the PC EZ-Bake Oven: "It fits in a 5 1/4" drive bay and plugs right into your power supply with the included Molex connector… The PC Ez-Bake oven can even be used to cook your Pop Tarts, Bagel Bites, or any tiny or flat food. YUM!" More…
Shake Your Mobile. (2004)
In an update of the Instant Color TV prank from 1962, Sweden's largest newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, reported that Hubert Hochsztapler, a researcher at Sweden's top engineering school, had made a surprising discovery: "if you shake your GSM, or second-generation, phone hard enough, you can access the new high-tech third-generation (3G) frequency which is only supposed to be available to 3G phones." This would allow users of older-model mobile phones to watch movies on their phones simply by shaking them. More…
Hawkeye Cameras Catch Speeders. (2004)
The Sun reported that hawks outfitted with miniature cameras would be used to catch speeding drivers: "They will swoop on vehicles and film them with strapped-on mini cameras developed by the BBC for wildlife programmes. Officers watching monitors will see a speed readout --and even registration numbers and tax discs. The Hawkeye system has had successful trials on the M40 in Oxfordshire, where PCs Mark Dalton and Otto Hergt put two birds through their paces… Paolo Firl, of the Italian makers, said: 'We are very pleased. We have shown it can be done.' But motorist Andy Pinder, 45, said: 'We're already persecuted, now we're being hunted.'" More…
Left-handed Cellphone. (2004)
Virgin Mobile announced that it would be offering a left-handed Sony Ericsson LH-Z200 mobile phone: "Designed with a reversed keypad layout, the buttons are switched from right to left instead of standard left to right… This simple but clever design makes dialling, texting and menu navigation quicker and easier for anyone left-handed." A number of technology sites fell for the joke. More…
The iShave. (2004)
The German software company Application Systems Heidelberg debuted an iShave attachment for the iPod, allowing you to transform your iPod music player into an electric razor. The website boasted: "Now with your iPod you can not only hear good music everywhere, you can also get a smooth shave to look good." More…
Medical ID Chips. (2004)
Norway's Aftenposten reported a plan by government health authorities to implant electronic id chips under patient's skin in order to better monitor their medical needs. Health workers would be able to monitor their movements and know when they entered a hospital. Aftenposten later noted that over 2,000 people clicked on a link that accompanied the internet version of the story for people who wanted to participate in the project. More…
The iRon. (2006)
Retailer Gear4 unveiled the iRon: "The iRon™ is a revolutionary cable free travel iRon™ for the iPod™. Simplicity is the key to the iRon's design, simply unfold the iRon™, fill with water, dock your iPod™ and "Steam Your Tunes". The iRon™ uses the iPod's battery for power and the steam jets are controlled by the tunes playing on the iPod™ . Thanks to GEAR4's unique SteamTempo™ technology, the jets spray in time to the music – fast, bass heavy tunes producing more steam and softer music providing less." More…
iPop Bra. (2006)
PopXpress, a UK chain of stores dedicated to iPod and MP3 accessories, unveiled the iPop Bra, a product designed to help people keep "abreast of music": "The new bra incorporates a concealed pocket for your iPod or MP3 player and control buttons built into the fabric. Available in white or black and in cup sizes ranging from A to F, the ipopBra has been designed so you can keep the smallest of gadgets right next to your biggest assets." More…
Chip and Sing Cards. (2006)
The London Times reported that "Britain's banks are developing a system of credit card security that uses the voice's tonal range. Rather than needing to recall a PIN, you will need to remember a line of a song... Optical scans are too fallible, and standard voice recognition too easy to mimic electronically. But no two people sing the same way. Tills and cash dispensers are to have microphones." More…
LivePoke. (2007)
The social networking site Facebook posted a notice about a new feature called LivePoke allowing users to "dispatch a real live person to poke a friend of your choice." The offer was said to be good for only the first 100 pokers in each network. The joke was a reference to Facebook's "poke" feature, which causes a poke icon to appear on another user's home page. More…
Mayfair Mall To Use Face Recognition Technology. (2007)
Wisconsin-based blogger Peter Hart posted a news article on the community news site WauwatosaNOW.com, claiming that the local Mayfair Mall planned to start using face recognition technology to scan for known criminals. The story fooled a reporter for WTMJ-TV who reported it as fact on the 4 pm news show. More…
Ring-Tone Rage. (2007)
National Public Radio's Weekend Edition Sunday reported that New York City Democratic councilman David Yassky had called for a ban on obnoxious ring tones. The councilman claimed that objectionable ring tones were costing the economy upwards of $1.2 billion and were the cause of numerous fights induced by "ring-tone rage." As of April 1, 2008, NPR reported, cell phone users would be restricted to four city-approved ring tones. More…
Toilet Internet Service Provider. (2007)
Google announced a new technology called TiSP (Toilet Internet Service Provider) that would allow it to provide free in-home wireless broadband service. Users would connect to the internet via their bathroom's plumbing system. Installation involved dropping a weighted fiber-optic cable down the toilet and then activating the "patented GFlush™ system" which would send the cable "surfing through the plumbing system to one of the thousands of TiSP Access Nodes." Google promised that it would provide a higher-performance version of the service for businesses which would include "24-hour, on-site technical support in the event of backup problems, brownouts and data wipes." More…
Sniff-Screen Technology. (2007)
The BBC reprised its 1965 "smellovision" April Fool hoax by inviting visitors to its website to test new "sniff-screen technology" by clicking on various colored squares, pressing their noses and thumbs against their screen, and inhaling to identify the smell.
Energy From Starlight. (2008)
Norwegian energy company Statkraft released a video announcing they had developed a way to generate power from starlight: "Our planet needs more energy — pure energy. And thanks to pioneering Norwegian technology we may be able to provide it. The energy source of the future is starpower... When stars explode, gamma rays with vast amounts of energy are hurled out into space. Now game capturers will be placed in orbit around the earth to capture this energy. This pioneering breakthrough has been developed by researchers and engineers from Statkraft." More…
gDay Mate. (2008)
Google Australia debuted gDay technology "enabling you to search content on the internet before it is created": "The core technology that powers gDay™ is MATE™ (Machine Automated Temporal Extrapolation). Using MATE's™ machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques developed in Google's Sydney offices, we can construct elements of the future. Google spiders crawl publicly available web information and our index of historic, cached web content. Using a mashup of numerous factors such as recurrence plots, fuzzy measure analysis, online betting odds and the weather forecast from the iGoogle weather gadget, we can create a sophisticated model of what the internet will More…
Super Pii Pii Brothers. (2008)
ThinkGeek described an unusual new Nintendo Wii game — Super Pii Pii Brothers, an "Amazing Virtual Pee Experience from Japan." "Prepare yourself by strapping on the included belt harness and jacking in your Wiimote. A series of toilets are presented on screen and the challenge is to tilt your body to control a never-ending stream of pee. Get as much pee in the toilets as you can while spilling as little on the floor as possible." More…
Qualcomm Wolf Pigeon. (2009)
Qualcomm unveiled a plan to expand wireless coverage by implanting tiny base-stations into wolf-pigeon hybrids that would fly around, but also be self-defensible, form packs when needed, and go out as "lone wolves" to areas without coverage, thereby creating a strong network. Unfortunately, the wolf-pigeons tended to overpopulate and cause havoc amongst the human population. This created a need for Shark Falcons, to keep the wolf-pigeons under control. Qualcomm engineers also anticipated a need for Crocodeagles to manage the Shark Falcons. Crocodeagles would be four times bigger than Shark Falcons, "so they're always going to win." More…
Aromatography. (2010)
Kodak announced that thanks to a recent breakthrough in "Neuro-Optic-Nasal-Sense Imaging" (aka NONSense), their researchers had developed a way to create "aromatized still images." They called the technology Aromatography. It was anticipated that it would soon be possible to apply the technology to video devices, creating Smellevision. However, the company cautioned that not everyone could smell the images. "Emerging trends indicate a significantly greater response among subjects born in the months between May and June." More…
Butterfly Attacks. (2010)
In the wake of several videos appearing online showing people being savagely attacked by butterflies, Qualcomm convened a press conference to explain that the victims had recently stolen prototypes of its Mirasol displays which used technology that mimicked the reflection of light off of butterfly wings. The displays apparently triggered aggression among wild butterflies. However, a Qualcomm representative stressed that the current displays were completely safe. More…
Gmail Motion. (2011)
Google debuted Gmail Motion, designed to allow people to write emails using only gestures, which Gmail would track using your computer webcam and a "spatial tracking algorithm." Command gestures included: open a message by making a motion with your hands as if you're opening an envelope, reply by pointing backward over your shoulder with your thumb, and reply all by pointing backward with both thumbs. More…
Animalia Tech Products for Pets. (2013)
Sony unveiled the "Animalia Line of Tech Products for Pets." The line included M3-OW KittyCans (headphones for cats), K9 4K TV (television for dogs), and In-Cage Speakers for hamsters. A Sony representative explained, "Now that there are more households with pets than with children, we are targeting pet owners who want to provide unique entertainment experiences for their furry, four-legged family members." More…
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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.