April 1 is the day when tech companies around the world stop being serious for a minute, and instead apply their collective creative genius to coming up with the silliest, funniest, almost-believable product and service announcements they can. Many of them are truly terrible but sometimes, just sometimes, they really hit the mark.
This year we’ve selflessly dug through every crazy April Fools’ Day tech prank we can find (it was a tough job), and come up with the best five of them for travellers that we kinda wish were actually real…
Virgin Atlantic announces glass-bottomed planes
Virgin founder and renowned prankster Sir Richard Branson was at it again, announcing a fleet of glass-bottomed planes to coincide with a new domestic UK route to Scotland. Who needs to worry about getting a window seat when you could just look down and see the world rushing past you at several hundred miles per hour? Or, you know, just see a bunch of wires and everybody else’s luggage in the hold.
Still, the idea of having an almost unrestricted view of the ground below seems extremely cool to us. If not, perhaps, a little terrifying…
Skyscanner predicts number of babies on your next flight
Speaking of flying, our favourite flight search tool got a whole lot better on April 1. Skyscanner rolled out a new service based on previous booking patterns, aircraft layouts and Flight Only Operational Logistics (F.O.O.L) data that predicts the likelihood of several child-based activities for any flight
Want to know how many children will be on your flight, the chances of sitting next to a crying baby or how likely you are to get a kick in the back of your seat from a disgruntled toddler? Look no further.
Seriously, if this was a real feature, we’d totally be using it.
Google Maps. Now with extra piratical goodness.
Pretty much any traveller with a smartphone has undoubtedly used Google Maps at some point. Trying to find your hotel, or a decent restaurant, or the nearest bar, has become a whole lot easier as a result.
The problem is that with that newfound ease, exploring somewhere new has often become, well, a little boring. Google to the rescue from a problem it created, with the new “Treasure Maps” version of the product. Finding your way from the bus station would take on a whole new level of excitement if there was a chance to find some buried treasure in an vacant lot along the way, right?
Thought you’d seen it all in North Korea? Think again.
Just in case we hadn’t heard enough about North Korea and its glorious leader in recent weeks, alternative tour company AnyRoad announced a guided tour with a difference through the secretive nation. For a mere $267,000 + booking fee, Kim Jong Un himself will take a week out of his busy armageddon-threatening schedule to show you the best of himself and his country.
For your money, the tour promises “atomic fun”, including the opportunity to plough desolate snowfields, enjoy the vibrant Pyongyang nightlife (with the main man as DJ), and even play monopoly with the most beautiful dictator in the world.
Let’s put it this way, it would definitely be a trip with a difference. We’re rather temped…
Skype in space. Say no more.
Not to be left out of the fun, everyone’s favourite free calling company took the opportunity to announce its latest version – Skype into Space. The press release does admit that a few technical challenges still need to be overcome, including sending messages faster than the speed of light to avoid delays, but we’re sure those problems will be solved in version two.
For now, the product would include automatic video rotation (there’s nothing worse than being upside down when in zero gravity, right?), additional support for alien languages, and even extreme gravitational resilience for sending messages into a black hole.
Personally we can’t wait to video chat with our new multi-headed friends in Alpha Centauri.
Did you come across any other fun April Fools’ Day pranks? Let us know in the comments!