The Best Tech April Fools' Day Pranks: The MS-DOS Phone, PlayStation Flow, and More

By Gerald Lynch on at

April Fools' Day, that one, solitary day in the year when the nation bands together, casting a critical eye over the news to make sure we aren't all being taken for mugs. If only we were so perceptive all year round!

Plenty of tech companies, attempting to make us forget that yes, they really are faceless corporate monsters manned by souless drones, have put out gags to mark the occasion. Most, as you'd expect, are shit.

But some are a laugh! Sorta. Really! And there's even a few made-up products that we wouldn't mind seeing become a reality. With time called on the annual pranking allowance at midday, we've put a few of the best together for you to gawp at below. Be sure to share any good ones you may have seen, too.

Microsoft's MS-DOS Phone

It normally gets a bit awkward when the big companies try to "pull a funny" on April Fools' Day, but Microsoft's self-deprecating effort this year is actually quite good, and rather elaborate too. Noting it's only got 3 per cent of the smartphone marketshare, it's "Rebooting", right the way back to MS-DOS, with a fully-featured MS-DOS app for Windows Phone.

PlayStation Flow

A waterproof wearable for your PS4? Rebecca Adlington's virtual reality headset of choice (or, at least it would be if it was real) the PlayStation Flow lets you literally dive into the underwater sections of adventure games, letting you splash around while your onscreen hero's lungs start to fill with H2O. Nice.

CERN's Large Hadron Collider Team Confirm Existence of the Force

Whoever does CERN's communications is obviously angling for a cameo part in the next Star Wars film. It's just been able to "confirm" that the Large Hadron Collider has found proof of the existence of the Force:

Though four fundamental forces  – the strong force, the weak force, the electromagnetic force and gravity – have been well documented and confirmed in experiments over the years, CERN announced today the first unequivocal evidence for the Force. “Very impressive, this result is,” said a diminutive green spokesperson for the laboratory.

IKEA's Smart Föne

Want a smartphone with those meatballs and bookcases? IKEA's Smart Föne claims to be the world's first "flat pack" phone. Stating that it can "be built to users' specifications" with more than 3,000 accessories, there'd be "no need to upgrade again, simply swap parts." Somebody call Google -- Project Ara's got a new competitor!

A "real" Steam Machine

Where are all the Steam Machines? Back in an alternate-reality Victorian era (or at least that's what this snazzy steam-powered computer from Think Geek would have you believe).

First Class Tubes for London Underground

See, this TFL gag would be funny, were it not for the fact that my daily Tube commute is so soul-crushingly cramped and uncomfortable that I'd probably actually cave in and cough up for a first-class London Underground ticket, were one to ever be introduced. We'll just have to wait for Preistmangoode's redesigned tube for now then.

The Henry Hoover Drone

Another one that I'd actually pay money for -- it'd certainly be a more enjoyable way of doing the chores, anyway.

MiDrive Virtual Reality Driving Instructor

To be fair, with the advancements in VR tech we've seen this year, the MiDrive April Fools' prank isn't actually all that outlandish. I can totally see a day when people are able to practice their driving skills in a virtual reality scenario before hitting the road. But actually wearing a headset behind the wheel of a real car? Yeah, probably not a great idea.

Ebuyer K9 Audio system

A speaker system specifically tuned to the frequencies most pleasing to your mutt's ears, complete with wireless remote for when Rex has had a few too many treats and can't be bothered to get out of his kennel to change the track. Apparently Jay-Z has already formed a partnership with top Crufts dogs to deliver high-resolution streams of howls and barks, especially tailored for your pooch too. It'll set you back £20 a month and three cans of Pedigree chum.

Seen any other good pranks that we've missed? Post 'em in the comments section below.