Everyone loves an April Fools' Day joke. But no-one adores a seasonal prank quite as much as a tech company.
Each year, around 1 April, we are inundated with fake products and services from technology firms - some hilarious and clever, some not so. Many have even fallen for them over the years. While some of them have even been made into full consumer items for purchase down the line.
So we've put together a collection of our favourite tech spoofs that have appeared over the last decade for you to enjoy. Hopefully, they'll give you a giggle. Who knows, you might have even bought one or two since.
PlayMobil Apple Store
US retailer ThinkGeek built a reputation for making some incredibly complex and clever April Fools' jokes over the years and its PlayMobil Apple Store took the internet by storm in 2011.
Listed on its website and photographed from every angle, the set included a complete two story Apple Store with employee figures. An optional line (queue) pack was also (not) available, in order to re-enact the iPad 2 launch.
The PlayMobil Apple Store contained a Keynote Theater, Display Tables, Kids Corner and, of course, a Genius Bar.
Due to tricky licensing it was never really made... But wouldn't it be cool?
In 2012, Sir Richard Branson launched Virgin Volcanic, promising to let people get to the centre of the Earth and back via their nearest volcano.
"Only 500 people have been to space, only three people have been to the bottom of the ocean, but no one has ever attempted to journey to the core of an active volcano. Until now," claimed his company via a fake website.
"Virgin is proud to announce a revolutionary new vehicle, VVS1, which will be capable of plunging three people into the molten lava core of an active volcano."
Iron Man suit
Back in 2013, Brit gadget and geek chic store Firebox claimed to be exclusively selling an actual, working Iron Man suit for £250,000. The retailer said it was a safe mode version that combined existing military grade technologies with highly experimental technology.
It wouldn't therefore come with weapons, being a consumer version, but Firebox did ensure us that its flight abilities and integrated sensory systems are still fully operational.
The icing on the cake of this splendid April Fools' joke was that it was claimed a full waiver would have to be signed "indemnifying Firebox in the unlikely event of injury or appearance of arch-nemeses".
HTC Gluuv beta
In 2014, before the latest smartwatches, HTC seemingly had the answer to smart wristwear with its Gluuv smartphone-meets-glove device. If it could be called a device. Let’s just call it a thing.
”Imagine the power of complete smartphone creative freedom. Now imagine that freedom in the shape of a glove." HTC said at the time.
The Gluuv was designed to integrate with the HTC One - the company's then latest phone - but also featured an 87.2-megapixel camera on the back of the hand for the ultimate "armie selfie".
Perhaps our favourite feature was the Protekt app. It’s featured the symbol of a knuckle duster. Yeah, HTC went there. Phone fight!
BMW's April fools offering was, without doubt, one of our favourites in 2013. Designed specifically with the royal family (and the then forthcoming royal baby) in mind, the P.R.A.M is a buggy made for transporting the new family member about.
It sported the signature BMW kidney grilles on the front, as well as a nice BMW M sport badge, synonymous with performance. The soft top would allegedly be available in princess pink or royal blue. It also included air conditioning and extendable flagpoles, so you could setup your royal shop wherever you are.
Then Nokia owned, HERE Maps came up with an alternative to mobile phone navigation apps and electronic systems in 2014. HERE Papyrus offered people a "physical companion to HERE Maps, HERE Drive and HERE Transit."
Yep, it was a traditional paper map. Like the ones we used before the advent of satellite navigation systems and smartphones.
Although the firm did go one step further, by adding augmented reality to the experience.
"We have taken the lauded feature of the digital app and overlaid this information onto our HERE Papyrus paper maps, meaning urban explorers can see their synched collections, discover major landmarks and points of interest by simply holding HERE Papyrus directly in front of them,” said Sehr Gefälschte, HERE Papyrus' product manager.
Burger King Whopper Toothpaste
Not technically a tech firm, fast food brand Burger King does however used its social media channels to spread cheer each 1 April. In 2017, it posted its Whopper Toothpaste, which was as amusing as the thought was disgusting.
It was apparently created to make that flame grilled beef taste last even longer, thanks to extracts of Whopper burgers being infused into the toothpaste. Yikes.
You have to hand it to Burger King though, it really committed to the joke.
Virgin Atlantic glass-bottomed plane
Virgin Atlantic attempted to convince us it was launching an Airbus A320 with a transparent viewing strip on the bottom in 2013. Passengers could therefore look straight down as they fly above the clouds.
"Today we've announced that our world-class engineering crew have been secretly working on the design and production of the world's first-ever glass-bottomed plane, created to ensure passengers can enjoy both an unparalleled flying experience, as well as a selection of stunning landscapes from the comfort of their seats," the company said at the time.
Of course, it was just more April Fools baloney, but featured an idea that would actually be rather cool. Unless you have vertigo, that is.
Another to be filed under "really cool if it actually existed", Samsung revealed its ExoKinetic device on Twitter in 2016. It was a kinetic charging device that can attach to its phones.
Using movement and a handy winding crown your handset could be charged using movement alone thanks to the ExoKinetic. If only.
Google Chrome Emoji translate for Android and iOS
Google always goes to town with its April Fools' jokes and the Chrome team did it proud in 2014. They claimed to have added Emoji support for the Chrome browser experience on Android and iOS.
The apps, said Google, will now translate web pages into Emojis for the purpose of making them faster to read.
"Simply tap on the menu icon and select the 'Translate to Emoji' option. Tap 'Reload' to view the original page," it said. Sadly though, unlike many of Google's pranks, that often work for the day, it was never real.
Bathstore T-Eliot: world's first reverse toilet
Bathroom retailer Bathstore has always been a big supplier of some of the best April Fools Day fake products. However, it outdid itself in 2015 with the world's first reverse toilet.
The T-Eliot (toilet backwards, natch) was Wi-Fi enabled and faced the other way so that users can look at their tablets or eBook readers hands-free, thanks to the built-in technology dock. Why they would need both hands available was never explained.
Left-handed Canon 7DL
This left-handed DSLR fooled a lot of people in 2013, partly because it's something a fair few of them would like to see come to market. Posted by The Digital Picture it featured a Canon 7D that was identical to the normal camera but with "reversed ergonomic design" which left-handed photographers would "fall in love with".
It actual struck us as hugely useful. Looked weird though and we're sure still has you doing a double take when you see what it looks like.
Emoji number plates
Another emoji based prank, Honda showed off a world's first in 2016: the emoji number plate. It was aimed at its younger buyers who wanted to express more than the numbers and letters their car could already offer.
The Honda Civic Type-R was shown with the new plates. Honda also claimed it was in talks with the UK's Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) over plans to have its emoji plates on the roads by 2017.
It didn't happen, of course.
First Direct Save Zap
Also from 2016, Save Zap was a new wearable from UK bank First Direct. It was claimed to be capable of recognising a wearer's location and zapping them when they get too close to a shop they've set as a no-go area.
Simple, yet painfully effective.
Virgin Media WiFi Walkies
In order to ensure you have a strong Wi-Fi signal whenever you are out walking the dog, Virgin Media invented a dog lead with a transmitter built into the handle back in 2017. The lead itself worked as an antenna, so would pick up a stronger signal the further away your pet ran.
The resulting connectivity would therefore give your smartphone better access to Wi-Fi hotspots from shops, cafes and other public buildings.
And if you were still in any doubt about its validity, the WiFi Walkies project was headed by Virgin Media's own Aerial-Frequency Online Output Lab (AF-OOL).
ThinkGeek invented another of our favourites in the shape of the iCade in 2010. And, like the TaunTaun sleeping bag the year before, it actually ended up being a real product you could buy.
The joke version claimed that you could buy a mini professional-grade arcade cabinet that could encompass an iPad and turn it into an actual arcade machine. Indeed, the idea was so good, similar products for the iPhone soon hit market too.
Google Glass Solo
Pocket-lint got in on the act ourselves in 2014 with our version of Google Glass for the more discerning gent: Google Glass Solo.
It was a monocle with a lanyard, and addressed the problem of social ostracism. It could also be tucked under your waistcoat pocket for lordly discretion.
It was the first in a line of Glass OLE (one lens experience) products. We're pretty sure Jacob Rees Mogg would love on.
Flux Capacitor Car Charger
Yet another ThinkGeek gag that was made into a genuine product afterwards, this hit the web in 2014.
Designed for Back to the Future fans, the Flux Capacitor Car Charger plugged into a car's cigarette lighter port and offered two USB charging ports, each of which, claimed ThinkGeek, provided 2.1 amps - enough to charge two tablet devices simultaneously.
Houzz Hide From My Room
In 2017, Houzz, the online service to help you design rooms in your home, added a "new feature" to its smartphone and tablet app.
Hide From My Room enabled you to point the AR app at any piece of furniture in your house and blast it from sight.
Bing Palm Search
Bing Palm Search was another Pocket-lint prank, created in partnership with Microsoft in 2015. It actually fooled several readers, but we could see why because the best gags are the ones based on a little bit of fact.
Palm vein reader technology does exist and has been seen in action in the past. And in-display fingerprint sensors have now started to appear on smartphones.
It wasn't the first time that YouTube added a button for crazy effects on its videos but the 1911 filter that appeared in 2011 was easily one of the best.
It wasn't available on every single clip - possibly something to do with copyright and such - but did actually work for a week or so.