Just signed out of Gmail and was prompted to check out a new feature in beta called Gmail Motion.
Gmail Motion uses your computer’s built-in webcam and Google’s patented spatial tracking technology to detect your movements and translate them into meaningful characters and commands. Movements are designed to be simple and intuitive for people of all skill levels.
Head over to the elaborately detailed website Google has dedicated to this fun prank. There you’ll find more information about the technology behind Gmail Motion and hear what a “paralanguage expert” and “movement specialist” have to say about it. In due time, the search company plans to expand Motion into Google Docs (creating a pie chart is a riot).
Update: Looks like Google’s pulling a handful of pranks this year. Hop after the break to see what they’re all about.
YouTube: The followup to last year’s ASCII-altering videos is YouTube 1911. That’s right–YouTube has gone old fashioned on us, adding a “1911″ button to videos that when pressed coats them with a sepia theme with vintage video artifacts and replaces the audio with a ragtime tune. Try it out in the 1911-inspired “Flugelhorn Feline” right here (it won’t work above, the button only appears in YouTube). YouTube has transformed many Internet memes by giving them the 1911 treatment; check ‘em all out at the official channel. To celebrate 100 years of YouTube, the site has reposted the very first YouTube blog post from 1911…written by President William Howard Taft!
Google Autocompleter: Google has posted a job listing looking for an Autocompleter.
Are you passionate about helping people? Are you intuitive? Do you often feel like you know what your friends and family are thinking and can finish their thoughts before they can? Are you an incredibly fast Google searcher? Like, so fast that you can do 20 searches before your mom does 1?
Every day people start typing more than a billion searches on Google and expect Google to predict what they are looking for. In order to do this at scale, we need your help.
Google’s quality team is looking for talented, motivated, opinionated technologists to help us predict what users are looking for. If you’re eager to improve the search experience for millions of people and have a proven track record of excellence, this is a project for you!
As a Google Autocompleter, you’ll be expected to successfully guess a user’s intention as he or she starts typing instantly. In a fraction of a second, you’ll need to type in your prediction that will be added to the list of suggestions given by Google. Don’t worry, after a few million predictions you’ll grow the required reflexes.
The Voice-alyzer: Today Google introduced a new Google Voice feature called Voice-alyzer. It helps prevent drunk calls and texts.
With Voice-alyzer enabled, our IVR will prompt you to spell everyday words with your keypad, like “embarrassed”, ”dizzy” or ”Czechoslovakia”, before we connect your call.
If the Voice-alyzer determines that you are not in a fit state to be having a conversation, it will prevent the call from connecting and send you a text message with contact info for 3 local cab companies instead.
Concerned about sending poorly thought out texts? Don’t be, we’ve got you covered there as well. All text messages sent while Voice-alyzer is enabled are scanned for accuracy and held in your outbox if fat-fingered words or more than 2 exclamation points or question marks are detected.
ChromeLite: Google invented a new extension for Chrome called ChromeLite. In essence, the extension displays all websites in pure text.
We decided to experiment with stripping out all the extraneous details of a web page to accelerate page load time by removing a web page’s formatting, colors, images, audio, and video. The end result? ChromeLite — the extension which brings you the web as it was originally conceived: nothing but pure text, presented in an aesthetically pleasing monochrome palette.
ChromeLite dramatically simplifies the user experience of web browsing by rendering the entire web in plain text. Users won’t have to worry about various media codecs and browser plug-ins to view much of the content on the web today. Preliminary analysis by our top-notch security team also suggests that running ChromeLite reduces your susceptibility to targeted exploits on the web by removing a popular attack surface: color.
Unlike the other pranks of the day, this one actually works for real! If you have the Chrome browser you can install the ChromeLite extension and test it out.
We’re excited to bring you Chromercise, a new exercise regimen for your hands and fingers. Some existing finger exercise programs focus on upgrading your digits’ cardiovascular strength and musculature; others focus on dexterity. Chromercise’s unique blend of aerobic motion and rhythmic accompaniment covers all of the above while simultaneously tightening and toning your fingers’ actual appearance.
Fonts: Google is experimenting with new fonts today. They say that they are rolling out Comic Sans as their default font across all Google products on April 4, 2011, and you can get a taste of what to expect by searching the term “comic sans” in Google. A “Comic Sans for Everyone” Chrome extension is available for download. Additionally you can see what “helvetica” search results look like, too. Google has also announced Wingdings as a new font to be used in Ads by Google.
Speaking of fonts, Business Wire dropped a press release today announcing the Comic Sans Pro typeface family.
Google Body Browser: They’ve replaced the human skeleton with a cow!