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REI ZipAll
The REI ZipAll adventure jumpsuit, from the Seattle-based outdoor retailer. (REI Photo)

The biggest April Fool’s Day prank of the year might be that several days in March are standing in for April 1.

Tech companies and brands looking for a captive internet audience ahead of the weekend and the real Sunday holiday (Easter, anyone?) are dropping their phony pitches early this year. From smart sneakerphones to beer that will teach you a foreign language, it’s a familiar drill for springtime online.

Keep an eye on this post throughout the weekend — and be careful where you click. For once, “fake news” is actually a real thing.

REI: ZipAll adventure jumpsuit

Everyone has a nerdy Northwest friend who owns a pair of those zip-off Sahara Pants that can turn from long pants to shorts in seconds. Now REI, the Seattle-based outdoor gear co-op, is adding a few more zippers — more than 30 in fact — to create the ZipAll, an adventure jumpsuit that takes super-breathable to the next level. REI promises the ZipAll can morph into 1,001 unique wearing modes including sleeveless, crop top, romper, short shorts and more. It might be the last piece of gear you ever need. Especially if you want to head outdoors with anyone other than yourself.

Redbox: Walk-up movie theaters

(Redbox Photo)

We’re already accustomed to watching feature films on the small screen, why bother even taking that experience home? Redbox, providers of DVD and video game rental kiosks, hopes this April 1 you and your family and friends will park it right on the sidewalk at your local convenience or grocery store to watch a movie. Walk-up theaters encourage film fans to grab their popcorn — and maybe fresh produce — inside and then head outside for the flick. “Show up early to grab the best seat on the sidewalk.”

Sound Transit: Triple-decker bus

Move over, HOVers. Sound Transit tweeted this multi-occupant vehicle of the future on Sunday. Seattle-area residents who are waiting on light rail to get up to speed can hopefully pile into a triple-decker bus. Potential downside? No way that thing is gonna fit in the new SR 99 tunnel.

Catune: Cat selfie app

Let’s face it. Cats and cat pictures and cat videos are the only reason we even have an internet. So cat selfies shouldn’t just be recklessly shared without some consideration for how good they look. Facetune 2, the photo retouching app, has turned its attention away from you and toward your cat with the new Catune app. “We get it. There’s bad fur days and grumpy mood swings,” the company says. In the end, what’s the harm? The internet just gained another cat video. You’re welcome.

Sam’s Club: bulkcoin cryptocurrency

Sam's Club
Put your tiny cash away. Use bulkcoin at Sam’s Club for that hot dog combo. (Sam’s Club Photo)

If you’re gonna shop in bulk you might as well pay in bulk. Sam’s Club, the no-frills bulk-items warehouse retailer, is shoving bitcoin aside on the way to the value pickle aisle in favor of bulkcoin, a revolutionary new payment method. “The bitcoins and litecoins and teenytiny coins weren’t cutting it for our value-seeking members,” Sam’s Club CEO John Furner said. A 2,400-pack of bulkcoin is just $19.98!

T-Mobile Sidekicks: World’s first smartshoephone

This has John Legere written all over it. Magenta’s biggest fan no doubt looked to his own closet for inspiration this year and set the T-Mobile team to work on a revolutionary new Smartshoephone. Just like the iconic phone they’re named for, Sidekicks are sure to be a cult classic. The sneakers feature a slide-out screen, sole speakers, retractable laces that double as charging cords, and a built-in, no-b.s. voice assistant powered by Legere himself that offers everything from traffic reports to the best slow cooker recipes. “The Un-carrier will always be a step ahead (see what I did there?) in the fight to give customers more,” Legere said. “Plus, T-Mobile Sidekicks just look dope AF. So. Much. Magenta!” Check out Legere making his pitch here. And order a pair (without all the tech).

Brewolingo: Beer for learning a language

Brewolingo, by Duolingo. Finally, a beer worth talking about. (Brewolingo Photo)

The folks at Duolingo, the language-learning platform, have brewed up something special for April Fool’s, with a line of craft beers that will actually make you speak fluently rather than slurring. Brewolingo argues that getting tipsy is a great way to learn a language and its special blend of wheat, hops, water and secret Owlgorithms are the only fluid you’ll need for language fluency. The smart-looking Duolingo owl figures heavily in the branding for the lineup of four beers: Spring Season-Owl, India Pale Owl, Mad Amber Owl and Night Owl Stout.

FreshDirect: Rabbit-foraged herbs

Incorporating cute bunnies into the pitch takes care of anyone complaining that we’ve taken the Easter out of April Fool’s. FreshDirect, an online grocery and delivery service in the New York City area, is turning to rabbits to help turn up the very best in wild herbs. Man-bunnied gentleman farmer Ned Hopper says his flock is tough to keep track of because … “they breed like rabbits.”

Man Crates: Porch piracy protection

Nothing’s worse than when your “awesome gifts for men” are stolen right off the front porch by less awesome men. Man Crates is upping its customer service game with a layer of protection to ensure that package theft is stopped dead in its tracks, whether it’s by an angry baboon, a creepy clown or a guy playing acoustic guitar is up to the customer. Select from a variety of protection offerings in the menu, and come home happy. Creeped out, but happy.

BulletProof: Grass-fed Butter Balm

Dave Asprey wants his brain-boosting butter coffee to pass by smooth lips on its way into his system. In response to an Instagram comment about his chapped lips, the BulletProof founder set out to create a lip treatment designed to deliver unparalleled moisture, a long-lasting boost of energy, and increased mitochondrial function with just one application. His DIY video will leave you hungry for something … maybe toast? “These are the kind of lips that are gonna live to at least 180 years old,” Asprey said.

Check back with GeekWire for updates as the April Fool’s gift just keeps on giving.

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