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Google Has a "Nose" for Good April Fools' Pranks

By Rich Duprey - Apr 1, 2013 at 3:50PM

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Smell-o-vision comes to the Internet? Awesome. Oh, wait.

Google (GOOGL 1.88%) staff apparently had a lot of time on their hands recently as the search engine launched not just one April Fools' joke --  you did remember today was April 1, right? -- but sprung more than half a dozen on unwary searchers.

From treasure maps and bringing fiber to the pole to shutting down YouTube and SCHMICK -- an extreme home makeover on Google Maps' Street View -- the search engine king launched  a bevy of belly laughs.

Being led around by the nose
One jape in particular I caught the scent of was a new beta option called Nose that offered the potential to bring scratch-n-sniff technology to the Internet. It promised that by typing in keywords like "lemon" or "new car smell" you'd get taken to a special page where you could get a whiff of citrus or your car's interior when you first bought it, though some aromas like "wet dog" might have you turning your nose up at the option. As Google put it, "smelling is believing." 

Leveraging a database of more than 15 million "scentibytes," the search engine declared the search for smell was now as easy as clicking your mouse. Just like its Street View cars, Google's Street Sense mobile aroma indexing vehicles inhaled and cataloged millions of atmospheric miles. 

The notion smelled good to me. Unfortunately, it was an April Fools' joke. It really stinks that despite decades of research, smell-o-vision isn't yet a reality.

Others jokes among the plethora of pranks Google pulled include adding emoticons to photos, Google Analytics reporting 41visits  (4/1, or April 1) to websites from the International Space Station, Gmail Blue, and the Levity Algorithm.

Use the comments section below to let your fellow Fools know which Google jokes had you going on this most Foolish day of the year.



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