Social media on Saturday went agog over smartphone maker Xiaomi’s plans to launch a smart motorcycle and cab aggregator Ola’s robotic ‘Wheels’ for rides within offices—only if they were not the All Fool’s Day pranks!
Technology giant Google, which has pranked consumers for years with some quirky product teasers ahead of April 1, this time showcased ‘Google Gnome’—a smart speaker for outdoors.
Similar to Google Home, Google’s smart speaker for indoors, Gnome was also to tell the wind speed and also take control of yard tools like tiller and water hose.
It was only at the end of Google Gnome’s page that the company said, “Google Gnomes are real, but only in our hearts - for now. Happy April Fools’!”
Google was quicker to tell the unsuspecting consumers about the prank, while Ola and Xiaomi decided to play it along a little more by deciding to reveal later about the teasers of their so-called new products being just pranks.
Ola released a video interview of its co-founder and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal to announce that it was launching ‘Ola Wheels’—designed for ultra-short commute inside corporate parks and equipped with voice-based artificial intelligence.
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The cab aggregator went on to announce that it it was hiring voice artists for the product and was looking for people with “soulful voice”.
Xiaomi also roped in its CEO Lei Jun for a video teaser for its new ‘smart motorcycle’.
The video showed Jun addressing Mi fans in India, where in he said, “We have created a very special product for our Indian Mi fans, the Mi Smart Motorcycle.
“Like our devices, it is of very high quality and at a great price. It is launching very soon.”
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The video was shared multiple times from the account of Xiaomi India Head Manu Jain’s Facebook account. On Xiaomi India’s official Twitter account, the video got several likes and retweets.
The campaigns by Ola and Xiaomi drew varied reactions from netizens across the country. While many were quick to call them probable April Fools’ Day pranks, there were others who wanted to know the launch dates and other details of the promised products.
The Gnome advertisement on Google’s official Twitter account also saw several likes and retweets.
Audio company Master & Dynamic also announced a new edition of its signature over-ear headphones that it said were made of solid concrete.
Weighing at about five kgs, the headphones are supposed to produce the “same high-end sound quality as its metal and leather counterpart”, the company said in a blog post.
While the company listed the price as USD 399, it ended the post saying “... April Fools’!”.