Six April Fools' Day pranks we wish were real inventions

Courtney Goldsmith
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Some of these companies hit the nail on the head (Source: Virgin Trains)

On 1 April, there is no shortage of companies claiming to have invested in crazy new inventions.

It turns out, some of these off-the-wall innovations are actually pretty cool, and we wish they weren't just April Fools' gags.

Here are six inventions we wish we could get our hands on...

Read more: Quiz: April Fools' hoax or hot business idea?

1. The easiest contactless system yet

If you're always forgetting your Oyster card or are one of the 62 per cent of people who lose their train ticket at least once a year, fear no more.

Virgin Trains said it has launched a new contactless ticket system which will work at the scan of a wrist. The so-called "Tick-Ink" is the latest in wearable technology, offering customers the chance to have their train ticket permanently tattooed on their body. We just hope they can do invisible ink.

2. Get to know your baby... while it's in the womb

Mumsnet today announced it will fund a major investment project using the mapping of neural circuits and motor functions to enable mother and baby to communicate - before the baby is even born.

Parents will be able to understand their baby's preferences before wasting money on expensive toys and clothes it doesn't like. For instance, the parenting website boasts its in-utero communication technology will allow the unborn to choose between sage green or sunflower yellow for the nursery walls. A real lifesaver.

3. A bird? A plane? Or both?

Virgin Atlantic has lauded the invention of a new flying technology: "flapenergy". The new Dreambird 1417, which is a decade in the making, is the world's first aircraft with flappable wings.

Harnessing the power of birds means the aircraft is one of the fastest passenger jets in service, with cruising speeds of up to 900mph. The new tech would also reduce weight and fuel burn, making a cleaner, more sustainable aircraft.

4. The ultimate gin experience

​Gin's popularity has exploded in the past year, so it's not at all surprising that Groupon is tempting us with a gin sauna. Instead of regular steam, this sauna's water will be infused with high quality gin containing botanicals like coriander seeds, orrit root and cassia bark so attendees can relax while soaking up a cocktail.

Please sauna responsibly.

5. One way to brighten a commuter's day

While it may not be an invention per se, The Duke of Sussex pub got all of our hopes up when it announced a pygmy hippo petting zoo would be coming to its outdoor terrace. With a prime location near Waterloo station, travellers with a minute or two to spare could hang out with a mini hippo on the pub's terrace.

Two little hippos named Henry and Henrietta would be hanging out over the summer, the pub said, and we still can't believe it isn't true.

All we want is a tiny hippo petting zoo (Source: The Duke of Sussex)

6. Man's new best friend

Ever been out taking your pooch for a walk and realise you need to shoot off a quick email? Or taken a wrong turn and need your map app to direct you back home? This new invention by Virgin Media would solve all of your problems.

The Wifi Walkies dog lead connects dog walkers to any free public Wifi network up to half a mile away. And yes, Virgin said after rigorous testing it was proven to have no impact on a dog's health or wellbeing... as long as its owner doesn't get too distracted.

Stay connected while out and about with your furry friend (Source: Virgin Media)

Read more: Six stories that could be April Fools, but aren't

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