Ioanna is a writer at TNW. She covers the full spectrum of the European tech ecosystem, with a particular interest in startups, sustainabili Ioanna is a writer at TNW. She covers the full spectrum of the European tech ecosystem, with a particular interest in startups, sustainability, green tech, AI, and EU policy. With a background in the humanities, she has a soft spot for social impact-enabling technologies.
Are you bored of EV chargers that ruin your home’s aesthetic? Well, they could be a thing of the past.
On April 1 (remember that date), EV home charger company Andersen announced its so-called Andersen-2-Invisible (A-2-I) charger.
Thanks to built-in 4K mini screens, the charger is able to mimic the pattern of the wall behind it, blend in, and camouflage itself, much like a chameleon.
Consumers need only upload a picture on the company’s Konnect+ app of the wall where they want the charger affixed prior to installation. They then turn the camouflage mode through the app and… voila!
Does this sound too good to be true? That’s because it is. The launch on April Fool’s day was, shockingly, an April Fools joke.
Unmasking the truth
Unfortunately, a number of news outlets fell for the ruse. As I explored the story, a search led me to the relevant posts on Andersen’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.
According to these, the invisible charger would be available for sale on Andersen’s website that day:
I was intrigued by this “invisible” charger, so I went on the company’s website for more information.
But you know what? Despite my hopes, the specific product was nowhere to be found. I eventually reached out to the company, which confirmed the ‘news’ was part of the April Fool’s ‘fun.’
A bad joke backfires
Compared to other over-the-top April Fool’s auto industry pranks (like Honda’s pet co-pilot front seats), Andersen’s invisible charger was actually believable — possibly explaining why so many publications got suckered in.
I mean, a camouflage charger wouldn’t add much to the overall experience, but it’s not a completely unreasonable idea for someone who’s spent a lot on a house to want a matching, discreet wall box.
As a potential consumer, I feel let down in two ways: firstly, I got intrigued by a supposedly real product that turned out to be fake; secondly, why not actually create a product that will appeal to a section of the market, especially if the technology can potentially exist?
I mean, it doesn’t even need to be a screen. You could easily take a photo of the space the wallbox will sit and the company could print you out a cover that matches.
That’s not all
The story gets even more ridiculous when we focus on the company itself. Underneath this attempt at humor(?) on Twitter, Andersen was bombarded with consumers highlighting unresolved connection problems:
Rather than worrying about April Fools jokes, maybe you need to focus on providing stable units which do not fail and can last longer than two weeks without having problems.
— Simon (@Teach_Phys) April 2, 2022
Couldn’t agree more. Woke up this morning to find that the app had (yet again) apparently lost Wi-Fi connection yet my system shows that it is connected. Tried a reboot but no different. Of course, there is no one available to contact until Monday. pic.twitter.com/dWReuua5kv
— Jerry Lambert (@Jerrylambert99) April 2, 2022
Spending time making jokes (if it can be called that) instead of addressing the issues regarding its services isn’t a good look for Andersen.
Plus, I don’t see how a believable but fictitious product that confuses people enhances consumer trust or the company’s credibility. In fact, it appears to have done just the opposite.
How about the technology industry just stops all the April Fool’s jokes? They weren’t funny years ago, and they aren’t funny now.
Although, if Andersen does go ahead with the camouflage charger for real, I’ll be here, waiting.
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