Those mysterious crop circles which appeared in a field in Chualar, California last week was a marketing ploy announced by NVIDIA at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang revealed the true identity of the crop circle to be a representation of their new Tegra K1 graphics chip. “It is true. The NVIDIA marketing team is behind this phenomenon. What you’re looking at here is 310 feet in diameter. It is what people call a crop circle…It’s like, out of this world, it’s practically built by aliens.”
CNN interviewed NVIDIA marketer Brett Murray, who told them the crop circle idea emerged in December as a way to bring attention to their new product. Working under sworn secrecy, the company flew in a group from the UK to create the circles. A YouTube video was also posted which showed two men, including Murray, marveling at lights coming from the field. The hoax took hold, as media coverage intensified over the following week.
The crop circle included two clues in the representation of the number 192, which is the number of graphical processing unit cores in the Tegra K1 chip. The number appeared in the form of a clock and also Braille.
In its initial report of the mysterious circle on December 31, CNN interviewed the field’s owner Scott Anthony, who seemed to provide the biggest clue, “To me, it looks like a computer chip, or something like that.”
- Crop circle: No, it wasn’t aliens, it was marketers (Tom Watkins, CNN: January 6, 2014)