The marvellous mobile that hides a viral message

fantasyphoneThe boundaries of what a smartphone is capable of have been stretched so far that a viral ad created two years ago for the Government of Nova Scotia based on a made-up mobile called Pomegranate continues to catch out the gullible.

The introduction talks about it as the one device that puts more things in the palm of your hand than you ever thought possible and runs through a list of common capabilities like email, web browsing, camera video, MP3 and GPS unit.

Click through to its other features and you’re shown a perfectly plausible use as a projector. It’s only when you get to the speech translator that things start to get a bit wacky:

“Instantly speak any language you choose with the Global Voice Translator – just speak into the front and the language of your choice comes out of the speaker in the rear.”

OMG, yes! I want one of those!

But it’s when you see the device being used a shaver, a harmonica and a coffee brewer that the penny finally drops. The  government apparently spent $300,000 on the campaign to raise awareness of Nova Scotia’s attractions and it has racked up 3m visits.

Daft though it is, I wouldn’t bet against the notion that someone deep in Google Towers is right now working on a version of the Global Voice Translator. Until then, hasta luego, au revoir and do zobaczenia!

Update: I’m obliged to my BBC colleague James Simcock, it seems Google is way ahead of me

Now who’s working on the coffee machine?


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