April Fools’ Day is a time for playful pranks and clever hoaxes, and technology can play a huge role in the holiday’s unique charm—for better or worse.
Major tech companies have been known to produce effective hoaxes in the form of fake product announcements and commercials, while many other companies or products can simply be considered “fools” for their very real failures in the industry.
Meanwhile, clients who utilize the myriad products of the TecHome can find ways to use tech to their advantage during the first of April or essentially any day where they’re looking to have some fun.
And through all of this, security (or lack thereof) plays a massive role.
Major tech companies typically take advantage of April Fools’ Day by unleashing hoaxes upon the often-over-gullible consumer market.
Some of these hoaxes, to name a few, include a Google Translate App for Animals, a smartphone/glove device from HTC called Gluuv Beta and a flying selfie-snapping robot from Orbotix.
So, in other words, be wary of product announcements on the first of April.
A major story of last year focused on how easily hackers were able to break in to the security features of a Jeep Cherokee and control it from a remote location. Hackers were able to crank up the air conditioning, blast the radio and spray wiper fluid onto the windshield.
This stunt opened up the conversation on cybersecurity, a talking point which has proven to be a central focus of whether or not an IoT-equipped smart home device will succeed in the industry.
For example, the Xfinity Smart Home System was recently in the news for showcasing major security failures that would allow burglars to easily hack into the home and gain access. Cybersecurity is a major issue for builders, integrators, manufacturers and especially when it comes to the end game—the client.
And those in the industry can prevent this by paying close attention to the security protocols of everything they include in their technology offerings.
With all this being said, cybersecurity plays a huge role in how smart home technology could be used to prank homeowners on April Fools’ Day.
If a homeowner’s security is flawed and they have friends with even minimal hacking skills, the possibilities are endless—lower the thermostat and turn the home into the igloo, tinker with the lighting system to make it seem like a paranormal force is inside of the house, or even change settings to the whole-house audio in order to blast in an annoying song your friend hates.
However, odds are that TecHome-related pranks are better reserved to be pulled by those who own the home, and the victims can be their fellow family members.
Annoy your kids with automated lights or a song they hate to wake them up early on April Fools’ morning. Hide outside and manipulate controls from afar to confuse your family members occupying the home.
One could even change settings so that certain things happen along with others. For example, when the doorbell rings, it could be programmed to say something shocking or make a funny noise rather than the standard chime.
All in all, there is certainly fun to be had with smart home technology. But beware; with fun comes consequence. While you’re playing pranks with a system that’s easily compromised, think about who the ultimate fool really is.
And builders don’t want to come off as fools either, so being wary of cybersecurity is certainly a way to avoid being the victim of your own prank.