The game's developer has not provided an official explanation for the newly placed items, but in a Reddit thread discussing the discovery Respawn employee u/lowkeydbjosh replied to the post with a smirking face emoji.
Jump pads have started to appear in Apex Legends, and they appear to be a teaser for the upcoming release of Octane. Some of those same rumours suggested his ultimate ability would drop jump pads - and it looks like Respawn is playing off of those expectations. Of course, nothing's confirmed until it's confirmed but it's looking more and more likely that Octane is certainly real and will be the first new character in Apex Legends.
It is unclear if the launch pads now in the game will be removed or are permanent, but many players have already started using them in fun and creative ways. Another player discovered that the pads will launch throwable objects into the air. This player was able to use the mobility the new tool provides to surprise an enemy player and win the match. Here's a video posted to the Apex Legends subreddit by user iWalteur, who is clearly taking their game to new heights.