April Fools’ Day is a holiday that you either love or absolutely hate, likely dependent on what side of the joke you end up on. Some just enjoy the hijinks altogether and there’s no doubting that millions will be on the lookout for the next well written or produced prank.
Some goofs catch us unaware and leave us with a feeling of disappointment but one of the best augmented reality April Fool’s jokes became a pop culture phenomenon, possibly inspiring one the biggest AR experiences we’ve received to date. Today we’re rounding up the best VR/AR influenced April Fools’ pranks of 2017 (article will be updated as more pranks are revealed).
Ms. Pac-Man Google Maps Edition
Google has a pretty stout pedigree when it comes to April Fools’ Day. They’ve done the Google Plastic, Snoopavision 360-degree video, and others. Now, if you open up your Google Maps application on your phone or even on the website, you can play an augmented version of Ms. Pac-Man. You’ll weave through your local streets in this version as you munch on dots and avoid the ghosts (until you grab a power pellet of course).
Google’s Haptic Helpers
Continuing with the Google theme here, we also wrote about a revolutionary new breakthrough in haptics technology: Haptic Helpers. Instead of having to imagine what things in VR smell or taste like, these Helpers will do everything they can do make sure your experience is as immersive as possible.
A Journey Around My Room: Luxury Travel For Cheap via VR
Via press release, luxury travel company Brown + Hudson unveiled their new program that allows you to experience the psychological and physical benefits of travel without leaving your home. “The idea was inspired by a client who would commission us to design the most incredible trips, pay and then cancel at the last minute, to the disappointment of their family. So we decided to bring the destination to them,” says Philippe Brown, founder of Brown + Hudson in the release. The program works by sending you a box filled with an Oculus Rift pre-loaded with your booked destination, a week of menus, and a Moroccan chef to fix your meals. It’s only a tidy £150,000.
Cosmic Trip on Nintendo’s Virtual Boy
Funktronic Labs shocked the world with their announcement today that their premier VR RTS title, Cosmic Trip, would officially be releasing for Nintendo’s ill-fated Virtual Boy headset. It’s the first game to hit the platform in over 20 years and marks a big move for the industry to take several steps back just to look forward.
Taito’s VIP VR Reality
Game developer Taito revealed on their website a new level of virtual gaming for their game Takeshi’s Challenge. Players can experience the taste of blood via wine, experience smell via the built-in mask, and have battle scars put on by a team of Hollywood makeup artists.
Finally there’s something that is meant as a joke, but in actuality we’ve seen happening around social media for over a year now and that’s putting animals in VR. Today, we learned all about BoneVR, which is billed as “VR for canines” and is set to launch this month, in April of 2017.
UploadVR Games Editor David Jagneaux contributed to this story.