Google Japan has a penchant for Gboard/input-related April Fools’ announcements. While April 1st has not been observed by the company for the past two years, one such product idea looks to have been brought back to mark the Kitano Tea Ceremony today: Gboard teacup version.

In 2018, Google toyed with a “device” that let you swipe on a physical keyboard as if you were interacting with a touchscreen, while 2019 was character input based on how far you bend back a spoon

Continuing in that lineage is “Gboard teacup version” to mark:

a “large Japanese tea ceremony event that was hosted by the regent and chancellor Toyotomi Hideyoshi at Kitano Tenmangū shrine in Kyoto on the first day of the tenth month in the year Tenshō 15 (1587).”

It’s a teacup with keys arranged all the way around. The empty center allows for a beverage to be poured in while only a USB-C cable sticks out. 

What’s rather amusing is how Google actually created a prototype and published instructions with pictures on Github. It includes firmware, schematics, and board layouts for a Gboard teacup device that will actually work if you connect a PC or Android phone. 

Leading credence to the idea that this was likely for April Fools’ 2020, the provided video notes how it was created before March 2020. Meanwhile, the FAQ of the “product page” is stylized as such:

Today is October 1st, right?

Yes, today is October 1st.

What day is it today?

Today October 1st is the day when “Kitano Tea Ceremony” was held . Anyone like a teacup with yes.

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: abner@9to5g.com