November 15, 2019
Yes, they are called “Easter Eggs” – but have nothing to do with Easter, per se. In tech, an Easter egg is an undocumented feature in a tech product, set in motion by a sequence of commands that nobody would hit accidentally.
Google Easter Eggs
Dan Sandler, who works on the Android smartphone software has built an eggy surprise into every version of Android since 2011. For the current version – Android P – he created a secret painting app.
“One of the themes in the P release was ‘digital well-being,’” he said. “In my paint app, over time, the strokes you draw fade away to nothing, like a Zen drawing board.”
In Google Maps, the best-known Easter egg appeared on March 10, 2018, International Mario Day, celebrating the goofy Italian plumber from Nintendo’s video games. On that day, the usual blue arrow for on the map, representing your location, appeared as Mario in his go-kart.
Tesla Easter Eggs
Every car can accelerate, brake and turn. But only the Tesla Model X can put on a three-minute dance performance. The windows open, the speakers blast a holiday carol, the exterior lights flash in sequence, the front doors open and close, and the gull-wing doors rise, arch and flap to the music.
Drivers can also summon Easter eggs like romance mode (the car’s screen displays a crackling fireplace as a mood-setting pop song begins to play); Santa mode (your car’s icon becomes a sleigh, snowflakes fall, and the turn signal produced the sound of jingle bells); and emissions testing mode (you, the driver, can trigger the sound of flatulence emerging from any of the car’s seats).
Tesla has confirmed that its cars still contain Easter eggs that nobody has yet discovered.
The hunt continues.
SOURCE: New York Times, 8/22/19