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April Fools' Day: The best pranks from around the Web

Published on Apr 1, 2014 1:10 PM

It's that day of the year when the Internet's tricksters collectively unleash their creative mayhem online, catching unsuspecting users off-guard with some wacky news or an unbelievable new gadget - at least until we realise what date it is.

Yes, it's April Fools' and here's a roundup of some of the Web's best pranks today.

Catch Pokemons on Google Maps

Google traditionally goes big on April Fools' and this year was no exception.

The team from Google Maps published a video claiming that users could use their smartphones to see actual characters from Nintendo's Pokemon game and catch them using Google Maps, via augmented reality technology. 

The video obviously was a prank, but Google did actually place 150 Pokemon characters on its Google Maps smartphone app for users to find and "catch" virtually.

To play, you'll need the newest version of Google Maps. Tap the search bar, press "start", and begin your quest.

Google Japan's 'magic hand'

Even Google Japan got in on the fun. It unveiled the "magic hand", a quirky hand-like device that does all the typing for you on your smartphone.

All you need to do is control a joystick and the contraption will do all the work - handy for that post-manicure gossip session. The device can even "scratch your back" if you so desire.

Nest Labs' total temperature control on a plane

Here's something which some might wish were a real thing: Home automation firm Nest Labs, which was recently acquired by Google, announced a partnership with Virgin America to revolutionise the way we fly.

Total temperature control - seen as a futuristic dial installed on each passenger seat on a plane - lets you set your own preferred climate during a flight, with presets such as a tropical afternon and Chicago polar vortex on demand. How "cool" is that?

Samsung's Fli-Fy: Pigeon-powered universal Wi-Fi

Not to be outdone by Google, tech giant Samsung said it was going to change the face of public Wi-Fi in London by enlisting the help of the city's ubiquitous pigeons.

It said it was placing a device called the "Fli-Fy", a lightweight micro-router, on birds in the city to enlist them in providing "Internet everywhere".

Samsung even says the birds are able to recharge the routers while perched on power lines as their hollow bones make them natural conductors of electricity.

BMW's ultimate sleeping machine

Carmaker BMW unveiled a rather cute gadget it called the BMW ZZZ Series Cot, a premium crib for junior that will hopefully inspire him to own a real BMW when he grows up.

At least for now, he will sleep in relative safety and comfort.

The 'SelfieBot'

With selfies the latest mobile craze, this prank was no surprise.

Now, you will never miss the perfect selfie with the SelfieBot by robotics firm Orbotix. It's a flying, fully autonomous camera device that always hovers next to its user, ready to take a shot.

It's perfect for the selfe addict who may have got the do-it-yourself technique down pat, but wants something more.