Lots of people applied to work at this very fake smart home startup

This April Fools’ Day, one joke long in the making about Silicon Valley got kind of out of hand.

An Indiegogo campaign for “Hub: the ultimate IOT smart device” got the attention of students at Yale University so much so that some applied to work at the burgeoning campus startup.

But the entire project was a joke, meant to mock smart home devices like Alexa and Google Home, along with the rest of the ever-proliferating internet of things.

Hub, as presented in a highly-produced marketing video, doesn’t really do anything. It’s just a hunk of metal that promises to connect to the internet of things. The big tech words and fancy production, though, caused some viewers to miss that lack of purpose.

“A timeless user experience is one that demands minimal knowledge, minimal understanding from the user. In order to create something truly innovative, you have to start from the beginning,” the company’s “industrial design lead” says in the video.

The story of the confusion surrounding Hub is a long one that the startup’s founders explained to Business Insider. Basically, people realized the project was a joke, but then started offering their own ideas for how to make it better. Soon after, the startup’s founders were inundated with internship applications and proposals for the future of Hub.

“This is our fault,” John Chirikjian, the student who launched the project, told Business Insider.

“We don’t even know what we’re selling anymore,” he said.

Even if the joke got out of control, it was a timely one. Amazon and Google satirized their own smart home devices this April Fools’ Day, too, with Petlexa and Google Gnome.

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