New Delhi: Tech companies around the world have had a long history of pulling elaborately planned pranks on April Fool’s Day, and this year was no different.
Right from giants like Google to start-ups Ola and Droom and even telecom operator Reliance Jio, each sought to pique the consumers’ attention by offering scavenger hunts, a fresh news platform, ‘Juice’ for smartphones and even ‘hover’ shoes. Google, which has pranked consumers for years with some quirky product teasers ahead of April 1, this time introduced, among others products, — the ‘Bad Joke Detector’ for its Files Go app. It is claimed that the feature will identify bad jokes — using ‘a custom-built deep neural network’ — which were sent to users by their friends and family.
Handset maker OnePlus shared a video featuring its co-founder Carl Pei, who talks about how the company plans to “re-imagine currency”. Towards the end of the video, it features a gold coin with the OnePlus logo to make it seem much more convincing.
Closer home, telecom operator Reliance Jio shared a video of ‘Jio Juice’ — a new SIM card that would allow users to charge their phones wirelessly without carrying chargers and heavy power banks. The video has already been viewed over 2,600 times and received more than 2,300 likes. It was also re-tweeted over a thousand times. Uber Eats, the food delivery arm of cab aggregator Uber, offered the world’s first anti-ageing ice cream that the company claimed works on eight signs of ageing and asked interested customers to pre-order.
Uber’s home-grown rival Ola, which pranked customers last year with ‘Ola Wheels’ for ultra-short commute inside corporate parks, said it was unveiling a hyperlocal news venture ONN. The prank claimed that Ola News Network (ONN) would see over one million of Ola’s driver partners across 110 cities double up as on-ground reporters, sharing local city developments in real-time. The campaign has already garnered over 108 million impressions. To help commuters with their traffic woes, online automobile marketplace Droom offered a solution — Droom Fly. The company claimed that these innovative hover shoes were capable of achieving a top speed of 80 km per hour and can fly up to an altitude of 1,000 feet.