Lyft went super hard for a prank.
Would you believe it if Lyft rolled out an actual, physical product to hail a ride? A one-use wearable, giving you streamlined access to all the service’s cars at the lyft (lolz) of your thumb?
You shouldn’t believe it — well, not completely.
The ride-hailing app is currently shilling Mono, a wearable with some legitimately cool specs: it has BLE tech to pair with your phone, a micro-controller synched with the Lyft API that reads gyroscope and accelerometer data to request rides, and motion-triggered LED confirmation indicators to let you know your trip status without having to check your phone.
Just stick your thumb in the air wearing the Mono, Lyft claims, and you’ll soon be ferried on your way.
But you’ll (probably) never see someone rocking a Mono to get a ride home after a night out on the town — it’s April Fools’ Day season again, and the wearable is Lyft’s idea of a viral prank, designed to confound the internet and get us all buzzing.
The only problem is, Lyft didn’t just make a joke prototype for a one-off photoshoot — the company went all the way in, creating actual working Mono devices.
Sure, we have all the hallmarks of a viral prank campaign — a slightly ridiculous concept that’s just believable enough, especially with the hyped-up videos and web presence to back it up. But bringing Mono to life makes it less a prank and more a one-off promotion, like Pizza Hut’s pie-ordering sneakers for March Madness.
It’s almost like Snapchat Spectacles on a small scale: a wearable created to give users a physical extension of an experience typically tethered to smartphones. Mono’s little more than a novelty item — obviously, no one’s really gonna walk around with their thumb in the air more than once or twice for kicks — but it is kinda cool looking and, dare I say it, fun.
That’s what April Fool’s is all about, right? We’ll cut Lyft some slack here for the full-out effort even with the botched delivery — just as long as they don’t immediately start bragging about how #woke hailing a car with your thumb can be.