Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Fashion & Technology

The aesthetic appeal of a tech gadget has always been important. No one wants a hideous-looking cell phone strapped to their belt; or a tacky-looking TV in their living room, no matter how functional it is. But the role fashion and aesthetics plays in electronics is becoming more and more prevalent. Manufacturers are now paying as much attention to design as they do to functionality.

Cell phones are a perfect example. Nokia has a line of phones called L’Amour, designed for the fashion-conscious female (or male). They employ craft techniques like etching, organic decorative elements, and natural materials, colours and organic patterns. One model is even disguised as a stick of lipstick! To place further emphasis on the fact that these phones are fashion accessories, not just phones, they’re sold exclusively sold through the very posh Holt Renfrew stores.

It’s also no surprise that LG’s Chocolate phone isn’t just merely a cool phone: it’s a downright sexy-looking device. Not to mention that LG Canada launched the phone at a fashion show, strapped to the thighs of some hot looking models! (see photo, if you don't believe me!)

Heck, even fashion design label Prada made its own foray into the mobile phone market, albeit not in North America.

When it comes to portable audio players, what about the iPod, and especially the nano? No one can argue that part of the device’s appeal is its super-thin, gorgeous look.

Everything from mobile phones, to MP3 players, come in funky colours, shapes, and sizes. If they don’t, you can surely find a case that will match your personal style.

But the importance of fashion isn’t just growing in the portable gadget arena: it is spilling over to every facet of the CE industry. I recently strolled the halls of the Sheraton Hotel in Montreal, QC for Son et Image, a Canadian A/V show, and couldn’t help but gawk at the gorgeously-designed speakers, outfitted in a variety of colours and glossy wood finishes. It’s basic black, no more! And the latest flat-panel, high-definition TVs from manufacturers like Samsung, Sharp, and Panasonic, are downright stunning in both image quality, and elegantly-designed bezels.

Gadgets have become, quite simply put, sexy. Don’t get me wrong: I’ll choose a functional product over a good-looking one any day. But the look of a product plays a more important role today than it has in previous years.

I'll revisit this topic again. If you have any recommendations for "sexy" products, please let me know what gets your vote!


Lee_D said...

Hey Christine and company!

Great new blog you've got. I got the link from your weekly newsletter.

At the moment, my favorite "sexy" little product is the Scandyna Minipod speaker. I may well pick up a pair soon.

You can see it on my blog, here:

Anonymous said...

All I can say Is I wil be asking sant afor a very special tube of lipstic this year :)

Marketnews - Christine Persaud said...

Hi Lee,

Thanks for the compliments.

I saw the Scandyna speakers in the flesh (and heard them)last summer, and they are definitely neat, and sound great, even given their small stature. They were featured in Vol.5 No.4 of here's how! magazine in the article called The Digital Dorm. You can download the full issue here: