Sad but true. The “OMG I’m not a gear head but I want this gadget” that we all lusted after last week was indeed, too good to be true.

I ignored the numerous grammar and spelling errors. The site was well thought out and slick and shouldn’t have had them, but I viewed them as a young upstart that maybe spent more time getting excited about the product than writing about it. The details were clever, like going out of the way to state that Adobe Air was required for the download software.

Not being affiliated with an established player only reinforced the notion. It’s not unheard of: Impossible Project, Hero cams, ThinkTank, they’re all nobody companies that came in with a great product.

RE-35 April Fool 2011

But it went beyond vaporware, it’s neverwasthereware.

Nothing on the site says it’s a joke, but nothing on the site says it real either. No example photos, no PR contact, no dates for expos they’ll be at, no price listing. I had many reasons to wonder if it was real, but I choose to ignore then in hopes that it was real.

And then a part of me hoped it was fake so I could Impossible Project a Kickstarter out of it

By the weekend I was still thinking about it, so I had to know.

How I confirmed my fears.

The site used the term “Flexisensor” to describe it’s patented flexible sensor that would spool out over the shutter for digital capture. The technology came with a copyright symbol next to it, but I couldn’t find any trace of a registration with the US Copyright office.

The US Patent and Trademark Office turned up nothing under re35, re-35, Flexisensor, vintage reloaded or any other terms.

Google’s patent search turned up nothing.

Whois showed the domain had been registered in Germany, but a search of the European Patent Office also produced nothing.

There are hundreds of countries, so I couldn’t check all of them, but the US offices and the European offices (since the website was registered to Key-Systems GMBH, a German firm) seemed more than adequate.

Whois also showed that whoever registered the domain did it in February, surly no one would plan an April Fool’s prank in months before April I thought. But then I look at those Facebook and Twitter share buttons and I wonder, if you’ve been planning this and it’s a real product that you want to create buzz for, why not set up a Twitter and Facebook page as well? If you’re a small company I’d think you’d be excited to see if people are talking about your product.

For such a slick site it was a curious omission.

Then there were the logistics of a flexible rolling transmission material that could freely move over the uptake spool that perplexed me.

I knew that truly flexible ePaper and flexible displays were still not at a point that could bend as tightly as the spool suggested, so how had they solved this problem? And why aren’t they selling that technology to rake in profits?

I asked an electrial engineer about it over the weekend and she had some reservations as well, although didn’t rule it out. We thought, either it was a prank or they were spooling dummy film to trick the camera so the real sensor could stay in place never having to move. But the website didn’t address it. Curious. But I still wanted to believe.

I contacted the design studio directly using their contact me on the website and received the confirmation I was after hours ago. It’s an elaborate April Fool’s joke 🙁


Since last night, it looks like the folks over at Rogge & Pott GbR have decided the joke was just too cruel and have updated the website with a press release.