April Fools’ Day roundup: T-Mobile, Convoy, REI, Google, and so many more Monday pranks

GeekWire reporter James Thorne makes a very private call inside the T-Mobile Phone BoothE Mobile EditionE. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)

OK, you asked for it. Well, actually no one asked for it. But here it is anyway — the annual roundup of April Fools’ Day gimmicks from all sorts of companies competing for your attention on a random internet Monday.

T-Mobile, Duolingo, Rad Power Bikes, Convoy, Google, Redbox and many more companies big and small are still partaking in the practice of putting out real press releases, blog posts and videos for very fake products.

Only Microsoft seems to have had enough, as this year the tech giant encouraged employees to refrain from wasting time on any pranks directed at the masses.

For those whose bosses didn’t feel the same way, here’s what some of them came up with:

T-Mobile’s Phone BoothE Mobile EditionE is a cardboard box with a window that rests on your shoulders and transforms any space into a “personal sanctuary for phone calls.”

Google is using machine learning to listen to nature. “OK, Google, talk to my tulip.”

Push notifications can be pushy enough when the pop up on your phone. Imagine having them show up in person at your front door. Duolingo, the language learning experts, did imagine.

Rad Power Bikes riders have been called “cheaters” for relying on electric power to enhance their mobility. Well, now they can cheat their workout, too, with the RadFit, a stationary ebike. (Full disclosure: my wife is featured in this video. No foolin’.)

Why drive five blocks to find the nearest Redbox video-rental kiosk when you can have one dropped by drone right in your front yard? Why, indeed. Redbox On Demand users will get 25 percent off their first On Demand rental on Monday just for thinking this is hilarious.

(Redbox image)

Almond? Coconut? Soy? Nope. Caulk takes non-dairy milk to a new level, as FreshDirect is milking cauliflower for this prank.

“Rivals of Aether” fans who love the fighting game but wish it was an animal-dating simulator instead get their wish with “Lovers of Aether.” No fighting, just friendship.

Can’t find the TV remote because the dog buried it in the couch cushions? Maybe that’s because this Roku Press Paws Remote is actually for the dogs.

Rapidly growing Seattle startup Convoy is tackling time and space concerns — not just in the trucking business — but in how and where employees conduct meetings. Check out Meeting Circles.

(Convoy Photos)

No one can hear you scream in space, but they might smell you first. Lockheed Martin wants you to smell your best with Vector, a fragrance for the deep-space explorers of tomorrow bringing a good first impression of Earth with them.

Forget the wireless mouse. Logitech is giving the ubiquitous piece of tech hardware a reboot by introducing the wireless hamster.

REI Adventures promises exciting trips for travelers around the globe. But what fun is that if you have to leave your cat or dog or donkey at home? REI Pet Ventures are active adventures designed with pets in mind.

(REI Photo)

Can’t trust that that guy on Tinder is actually 6-feet tall and not really 5-feet-6? The dating app takes a swipe at height lying with height verification.

(Tinder Photo)

In a secret Southern California facility, a reclusive “sound gardener” plucks AirPods from trees and out of the soil. Watch 83-year-old Ken Yamamoto cultivate Apple’s  headphones. “Don’t just put the headphone in your ear, take time to appreciate it,” he said. “Really look and it and consider where it came from.”

Editor’s note: Yes, we missed (skipped?) a lot of pranks. So many. And we’re sure to hear from you. So maybe this post will update throughout the day. But maybe I’ll be asked to work on something else. 

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