There's little doubt that Pokémon Go is a bonafide cultural phenomenon. Now, when you walk down any street you are likely to bump into someone playing the augmented reality smartphone application. But what about while driving?
This week, on 1 August, one man claimed to have 'hacked' the 17-inch monitor of a Tesla Model S so he could catch Pokémon using little more than the electric vehicles' rear camera, GPS system and an Ethernet cable. The only problem, as some critics suspected, was that it was yet another internet hoax.
The website that first published the story, a US-based entertainment blog called Pink Java, claimed the widely popular game could be booted up on the Model S on-board computer system and claimed the only "hitch" was that the only way to catch Pokémon was in reverse as the Tesla's only camera is in its rear bumper.
"It's not perfect," the author of the post said, who added in a gif of the 'hack' in action. "The Tesla's display cuts off some of the game; I haven't been able to fix that. It makes for quite a challenge. I almost backed over a Rattata!"
Of course, internet detectives – especially on Reddit – quickly denounced the story as a hoax. "This is obviously fake," wrote one user. "Why would the rear camera shake when he throws the pokeball? Because the initial footage is from a phone." Another said: "Fake because look at the camera angle. The rear camera normally has a great, wide view behind the car as well which is why I use it on the freeway. Here it's pointed directly at the ground."
After the story spread online, Pink Java admitted the story was fake. In a statement on its website, it said: "This was an experiment to see if we could start a discussion about a story's validity. Writing in a satirical style, we left a few clues along the way that this was a parody. Although we would love to play Pokémon GO with a Tesla, sadly, we cannot."
In a separate statement given to Tech Insider, which covered the original story, the publication's editor said: "I have to be honest the Pokémon story got a little out of hand. When we came up with the idea it was more as a tongue-in-cheek article [...] anyways, I kind of regret doing this story, but lesson learned here."