Even though some companies cancelled April Fools for the third year in a row, not all of us lost our sense of humor yet. A few tech-joke highlights from 2022.
Sorry, I didn't quite get that, try again. The holy grail of AI researchers is to fully understand human languages. Were are we now in 2020?
Science fiction stories and April fool jokes often describe speculative technology we wish existed in our world. Here are a few such devices in today's fake news announcements.
New AI chip will feature enormous memory capacity and remarkable performance with patent-pending OxygenBurst™ technology keeping it from overheating. The architecture for this chip was inspired by an area rug the founder of this company bought in the eighties. Early tests show that the chip could speed through a million-sized data set when training, almost like it dumps the data before training completes. When shown a picture of a girl named “Nikki”, it mistakenly labeled it “Micki”. Yet, it was able to accurately identify applesauce with cinnamon sprinkles, even though it was mixed with a pale, watery piece of turkey breast and soggy vegetables on a Styrofoam lunch tray.
Telemedicine use has grown in recent years, although many still don't believe in automated and delivered remotely healthcare.
We still prefer a human connection, as health care information technology giant Epic suggested in their 2017 April fool's joke: unveiling "Epic TinDr," an app to allow patients and physicians to select one another with Tinder-style instant falling in love. And we may even prefer some of our health records to self-destruct - as in "Snapchart" suggested by health coaching app Twine Health “ - before they are collected by Facebook.
On April 1 2019, healthcare blog announced that Facebook formally entered the EMR business. But it's not a joke - according to some sources, Facebook planned to collect information about age, diseases, prescribed medications and visits to the hospitals. This data could be combined with all health-related information that Facebook already captured about its users.
Broom, mop and cloth. Cleaning tools every home needs. Of course, you can make cleaning easier with a microfiber cloth and delegate floor cleaning to a robot mop, but you'll still have to clean small objects and patterned carpets manually with more conventional tools. This April, Google offers a new smartphone screen cleaning app. With just a push of a button, this tool will wash away all smudges on the mobile phone screen and freshen it up with a pineapple scent. This feature uses a Smudge Detector API utilizing "geometric dirt models" and "haptic micromovement generator" to clean and form a "long-lasting" dirt shield around the phone afterwards.
Science fiction authors were describing future without tedious tasks such as cleaning since 19th century. WAL-E (2008) - microbe obliterator (in the picture) was identifying dirty areas on its own, scrubbing anything and everything until it was sparkling clean. On April 1st of 2004, BMW announced a new self-cleaning car with "microscopic blowholes" clearing dust and insects. Neal Stephenson 1995 book The Diamond Age described gloves "constructed of infinitesimal fabricules that knew how to eject dirt". Not really a science fiction now, as prototype nano-enhanced textiles were able to clean themselves with light back in 2016.
Humans were always dreaming of better transportation. In 2016, Tesla announced its first flying car Tesla shocks the world by announcing its first flying car, the Model F. EDIT. In 2012, Google announced Click-to-Teleport technology allowing potential customers to instantly teleport to the business location directly from a search ad in a matter of seconds. But it's hard to keep up with imagination of science fiction writers and producers of Hollywood movies. And each year technology jokes seem to get feebler and less exciting. Maybe next year?
Samuel R. Anderson et al. Robust Nanostructured Silver and Copper Fabrics with Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance Property for Effective Visible Light Induced Reductive Catalysis, Advanced Materials Interfaces (2016). DOI: 10.1002/admi.201500632
Karim et al Nanostructured silver fabric as a free-standing NanoZyme for colorimetric detection of glucose in urine
Photocatalysis and self-cleaning from g-C3N4 coated cotton fabrics under sunlight irradiation Y Fan, J Zhou, J Zhang, Y Lou, Z Huang, Y Ye… - Chemical Physics …, 2018 - Elsevier
Some April Fool's jokes come true.
Back in 2004, an electronic product review site Pocket Lint pranked about a new Apple phone add-on for the iPod. The first-generation iPhone was released in 2007.
"Ratatattle" a real-time map of rat infestations in restaurants, announced by Cnet on April 1, 2007, was actually implemented by the government of New York City in 2009.
Ultrasound-based network for unborn babies (2007) was prototyped in form of a wearable belt Kickbee in 2008. The product got a lot of press coverage but ceased to exist in 2015.
Some 1st-April jokes have the potential to be prophetic or ominous.
Like Google's Smartbox (2015) fusing physical mail with electronic kind and sorting everything into subject-specific categories. Or electro-fitness shoes (2016) that would never let you stop moving. And a full-body wearable (2017) monitoring the body and keeping you connected 24x7x365. In addition to non-wearable technologies recording all your bathroom activity.
Some April Fool's products we really wish existed.
Such as a Duolingo pillow (2016) teaching us a new language overnight. Or Ab-hancer grid (2012) quickly developing ab muscles when placed over the midsection. And a holograph-projecting drone to attend meetings instead of you.
The best April Fool's technology stories of 2018 focused on car tech, genomics, sensory perception and wearables. Toyota's luxury car division Lexus announced a new personalized car design based on 23andme data. Likelyhood to consumer higher levels of caffeine, for example, would translate into larger cupholders, susceptibility to back pain would add dozens of controls to front seats and new-car smell will be genetically personalized to match expression of olfactory receptors.
A new 4d6andMe Stat Discovery Kit will use genetic information to quantify your charisma, saving throws, ability modifiers, skill proficiencies, hit die, passive wisdom, and initiative all in one easy-to-read form - a Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition character sheet.
A taste-bud analyzing attachment to a smartphone and Artificial-Intelligence software will help to select a perfect Hummus dish for everyone - thanks to Hummus API from Google Israel.
A Czech automobile manufacturer Skoda's new QuarrelKancel technology identifies the first signs of an argument and starts to filter out backseat bickering and sibling squabbles, to let the driver concentrate on the driving.
As part of global-wide push within the motoring industry to run cars using sustainable energy sources and help reduce vehicle emissions, MG Motor UK has announced a new engine running on alpaca waste.
If you want to be even more environmentally friendly, walk instead of driving - Jabra Sneakers will also help you to develop dance skills, providing Hi-Fi audio grade quality on the go with voice activation, stereo sound, dust certification and wireless charging with unique Foot Mat.
Online tutor company Chegg is offering the Chegg Osmosis Pillow that will not only adapt to the shape of your head, but also pack your memory with actual knowledge. And you can also make money while you sleep by renting out the unused space in your bed. Mattress company Lucid just launched a cheaper version of Airbnb, the ShareBED app. There exist potential for new applications in sharing economy.
Which new technologies offer the most potential? Only time will tell.