Top 10 Best April Fool’s Gadget Stories and Hoaxes
Technology companies seem to have a thing with April Fools Day and this year was no different, here we report on 10 or our favourite hoax gadgets from the past few years.
- Telephone Line Vacuuming
An email from telephone company announcing they would be “cleaning the phones” Sunday 1st April. The cleaning would be carried out using a compressor that forced air down the telephone lines to remove the dust and grime that was slowing down the internet connection. The process was to occur between 2:00am and 4:00 am to avoid disturbing people as little as possible.
The phone company suggested that people leave a newspaper under their telephones, fax machines, and modems to collect the dust generated in the process.
Reported in PC World.
- Color TV from Stockings
This one’s from the archive. On April 1st 1962 a presenter appeared on Swedish television to explain how you could place a nylon stocking over a black and white television to convert it into a colour set by generating an interference pattern. 25 set denier stockings worked best – the 40 denier varieties make the pictures too dark…
- The PC Habi Case
From ThinkGeek, this is a PC case that is also a home for your pet gerbil. The heat from your CPU ensures that your rodent stays snug and warm, and the case features a 120 mm low-noise fan to avoid hearing damage to your beloved rodent. Of course the case is fully functional with an ATX per supply and 6 drive bays etc.
- Left Handed Mobile Phone
From April 2004, this was a Sony Eriksson mobile telephone marketed by Virgin Mobile, designed for left-handed people. The keypad has a reverse layout, with the buttons switched from right to left instead of the usual left to right. Virgin claimed they didn’t want to ignore the 7 million left-handed people living in the UK. Apparently thousands of people contacted Virgin to pre-order the mobile before Virgin announced it was an April Fool’s hoax.
From Mobile Mag.
- Belgian scientists reportedly extracted audio recordings from this 5000 year old vase.
The vase was decorated by using a stick to scratch a pattern on its side. As the stick was used, it picked up vibrations from the ambient, background sound. Hence, audio recordings were scratched onto the vase rather like you would cut vinyl to make a record.
The Belgian scientists were able to extract audio recordings of conversations from patterns on the surface of the vase, and were reportedly able to discern the sound of talking and laughter.
- USB fondue set
Again from ThinkGeek, this fondue set plugs into your USB port. ThinkGeek point out that this gadget should only be used to melt chocolate and cheese, because the excessive power consumption would burn out a standard USB. However, when the USB 3.0 standard arrives, presumably on April the 1st, you can use it to heat oil.
The LCD screen shows the oil temperature – a nice touch.
First posted on Think Geek
- This one’s a beauty, from April 2003: the internet-enabled toilet, or iLoo, from Microsoft. I must say I didn’t know they had a sense of humour of at Redmond.
The story was that the UK division of Microsoft were developing a portable toilet with a wireless keyboard, plasma screen and high-speed internet access. Of course the internet access would have to be high-speed – I’m not sure if I’d like to use a keyboard used by someone previously who may not have washed their hands…. yeuch!
- Are you a woman who spends too long in front of her laptop? Has some of the magic gone out of your love life?
Now with LaptopLadies ™ sexy lingerie, you can use your laptop to prepare some kit to put a bit of spice into your love life. These cotton lace bra and knickers are available in four different colours:
- RAM Red
- Blue-tooth Blue
- Wireless White
- Graphics Green
This lingerie comes with a warning though; “Sparks may develop when operating under high levels of enjoyment”.
- The USB IWOOT memory saver stick from iwantoneofthose.com
This USB memory stick can download memory fragments via a temporal lobe sensor and interface allowing you to retain and backup important memories, and even to share them with others. With the software supplied on the CD, you can categorise important memories and store them on your PC so that you can replay them in your old age.
The USB memory saver has a capacity of 2 GB; that’s enough for 21/2 hours of memories and is firmware upgradeable.
Unfortunately, Mac users will have to wait as this gadget is only available for the PC!
Invented on I Want One of Those
- The iron with an iPod interface from Gear4
This sweet looking gadget, the iRon, is the world’s first iron with an iPod interface. Not only can you iron and listen to your favourite music at the same time, but you can select an appropriate tune for the type of material you are ironing. If you need lots of steam for a heavy duty material, you can select a song with a strong bass, and for your delicates you can play a soft ballad.
Those are our favourite gadget April Fool’s hoaxes – maybe you can let us know yours?