April Fools' Day roundup: The best and worst tech pranks on the web

Be careful what you believe on April 1st as jokes and pranks will flood the Internet today. Come back for updates as more pranks reveal themselves.
By Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer
1 of 25 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Google acquires Burning Man

There's nothing uncommon about enterprise firms making valuable acquisitions and this is no different. Google now owns 51.2 percent of Burning Man and plans to take over running the event. The deal, made public on April Fools' Day, is believed to be worth $1.2 billion.

2 of 25 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

T-Mobile's Phone BoothE Mobile EditionE

T-Mobile has launched the latest evolution in mobile technology: the T-Mobile Phone BoothE.

If you are looking for a public place to take and make calls or browse their smartphone in peace, you can use the Mobile EditionE, described as a "portable fortress of solitude," enables you to enjoy your smartphone without the real world interrupting. 

3 of 25 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET


SodaStream partnered with US astronaut Scott Kelly this year to promote a fantastic new invention, SodaStreamMe, which turns excess CO2 into sparkling water. All you need to do is blow into the glass.

4 of 25 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Porn gift cards - perhaps not a prank, after all

While VR Bangers launched a set of gift cards for pornography access this April Fool's Day, considering the UK's plans to introduce a porn block which may end up requiring users to pay for passes at newsagents, it may not be so much a joke but rather a prediction.

5 of 25 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Google Tulip

Artificial intelligence has now found its way into the world of gardening. Google Tulip is the tech giant's latest foray into language translation and will translate Tulipish into human languages so you know exactly what your plants need to thrive. 

6 of 25 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET


A rather terrible one is On the Beach's Techini, a solar-powered item of swimwear which includes speakers, a wireless phone charger, a waterproof pocket, and a phone cooler. Who wouldn't want one?

7 of 25 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Skoda's ProjectaPal

Skoda's ProjectaPal aims to come to the rescue of forgetful drivers by projecting reminders and other messages with high intensity LED beams. All you need to do is input what you are likely to forget later into your smartphone and your car will remind you.

8 of 25 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

The drone will walk your dog for you

Thumbs Up's Drone Dog walker will take the daily dog's walk off of your hands if you are too busy. If your pup gets a little nervous at the idea, just use the microphone and camera embedded into the drone to talk to your pet on the way. 

9 of 25 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Cat protective gear

Hedkayse has developed a helmet containing a microchip specifically for cats to protect their noggin when they go to and from a cat flap. 

10 of 25 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Green energy for data centers

Hyve Managed Hosting has tapped into an unexplored area for energy generation over April Fool's Day with the launch of Quadkinetic, an exercise system which transforms your workout into green, kinetic energy to power the UK's data centers. 

11 of 25 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Play Snakes on Google Maps

The retro game, Snake, was once a popular method to pass the time on our old, unwieldy smartphones. Open the Google Maps app, tap on the menu icon on the top left corner, then select "Play Snake" to enjoy the game across locations including Cairo, London, San Francisco, São Paulo, Sydney, and Tokyo.

You can also play the game after today on this standalone website.

12 of 25 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Mindful artificial intelligence

Natterbox has launched Mindful AI, a new service to "address and soothe the frayed nerves of customers dealing with stressful phone calls." The AI detects anger and stress and will automatically pause a call and play a calming mantra or give customers a meditation exercise to perform before resuming the call. 

13 of 25 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Speakers only millennials can hear

This April Fool's Day, JBL has come up with speakers that only the millennial generation can hear. The upgraded PartyBox 300 comes with "avocaudio" technology to ensure only under 35s can hear music pumped through the speakers at full volume. 

14 of 25 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Shutterstock's new library

Shutterstock has revealed plans to build the world's largest physical library which will house over 250 million volumes of water-marked imagery and film reels. If you plan to visit, make sure you take a look at their popular "Portraits of Disgruntled Ostriches" collection. 

15 of 25 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

A new phase in online dating

When you sign up to a dating app, you may receive matches depending on your age, sexual preferences, location, and interests. But one common factor which may be the cause of arguments in the home is the heating bill -- so why not add this to the mix?

Boilerplan has launched HeatMatch, a new dating app which focuses on this very important household issue. Who knows, you might find your ideal match based on how warm you like to be. 

16 of 25 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Jabra Earbud(dy)

Jabra has begun April Fools' Day with the Earbud(dy). The device, described as the "world's first shared headphone," not only allows you to share your musical taste with friends but also connects seamlessly with two devices at once -- so split the song list if you'd like.

17 of 25 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Guaranteed phishing protection

The Defence Works has come up with an alternative to extended training programs to guard organizations against the threat of phishing attacks. The "Phishing Prevention Finger Condoms" are "scientifically proven" to reduce the risk of phishing and malware by 100 percent.

18 of 25 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Clean your screen with a tap

Files by Google now has a fresh feature we've all wanted for years -- the option to clean your smartphone screen. With a single tap, Screen Cleaner is able to "use geometric dirt models combined with haptic micromovement pulses" to dislodge particles of dirt. A thin magnetic field can also be enabled to keep everything squeaky clean.

19 of 25 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

A pager for modern heroes

90's kids wanted a pager before smartphones -- no matter how bulky -- took center stage. ThinkGeek's Captain Marvel Universal Pager, designed for the "modern hero," will take you back to the decade when pagers, blinks, and beeps elicited sighs of envy. 

20 of 25 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Duolingo notifications ramp up

Sometimes, notifications simply aren't enough to keep you on the track to learning a new language. Duolingo Push is the language learning firm's latest attempt to keep you on the straight and narrow. Rather than just remind you to undertake your daily language lesson, a Duolingo owl will trail you in the physical world.

21 of 25 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Tinder height verification

You may never know quite what to expect if you choose to meet someone through a dating app, and height is one factor that people may not be completely honest about.

Tinder has decided to do something about it through the introduction of height verification. If you verify your height you are awarded a Height Verification Badge (HVB), a new system which will be coming to your phone soon. 

22 of 25 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Roku Press Paws remote

Roku's entry this April Fools' Day is the Press Paws remote. Many of us that own cats and dogs alike leave a radio or the television on while we are out, and so why not give them a way to change the channel when they get bored?

23 of 25 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

GeForce RTX R.O.N.

Nvidia has introduced a "revolutionary" AI-powered holographic assistant which promises personalized gaming experiences. Known as R.O.N., the device goes beyond what we can expect from our smart speakers to keep you up-to-date with what's going on in the gaming world as well as coach you in your gaming -- in 18 different languages.

24 of 25 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Rocket powered golf clubs

A rather enjoyable April Fools' prank this year has been created by Mark Rober and features rocket-powered golf clubs which can improve your game by giving you a maximum swing speed of up to 150mph. 

25 of 25 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

The OnePlus WarpCar

The OnePlus WarpCar, a sleek, somewhat squishy vehicle "promotional" video made its debut over April Fools' Day. All electric and all angles, who wouldn't want this car?

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