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April Fools’ Day Changed by COVID and Innovation

Between a non-prankish mood during COVID-19 to amazing technical innovations, it’s hard to tell pranks from reality for April Fools’.

The year 2020 was a tough year for everyone. Even the traditional pranking day of April Fools’ took a hit, all due to the global outbreak of COVID-19. Several major tech firms even canceled their 2020 April Fools’ jokes for the first time, instead urging employees to contribute to relief funds.

Other companies did create April Fools’ videos but shifted the focus from pure pranks to helping those suffering from the pandemic. Still, others took the opportunity to debunk many of the erroneous COVID-19 messages that were spreading over the Internet.

While few pranks were even attempted on April 1, 2020, there were a string of hoaxes from the previous year that can still bring a smile to your face. This gallery will cover all of the above while adding some cool technical innovations that make it hard to tell what is a prank and what is reality.

John Blyler is a Design News senior editor, covering the electronics and advanced manufacturing spaces. With a BS in Engineering Physics and an MS in Electrical Engineering, he has years of hardware-software-network systems experience as an editor and engineer within the advanced manufacturing, IoT and semiconductor industries. John has co-authored books related to system engineering and electronics for IEEE, Wiley, and Elsevier.

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