For centuries, fashion has been therevolutionary in moulding our ideas of beauty. From corsets to shoulder pads, from skinny jeans to parachute pants, designers are constantly changing our views of what is attractive. But now fashion has a rival, and it has come armed with gizmos and gadgets. Technology is on the rise and is quickly becoming a spectacle to admire.
In my mind, it began with the never-ending battle between Microsoft and Apple. I remember running across the street to my neighbour’s house as a kid wanting to play on their new colourful Apple computer, and thinking less fondly about the beige, chunky PC we had back at my house.
I remember getting the new iPod Nano when I was fourteen, how small and thin it was, and then looking at my sister’s three years older and almost three times larger first generation iPod with disgust. And then the iPhone came out. Yes, it was larger than any other mobile phone I had seen before, but it had a touch screen! Whenever I saw it in the shop windows or in an ad on TV, I would imagine how great I would look holding that phone in my hand.
It seems that Apple has truly embraced the notion that fashion, trend and design are just as important in spending habits as the functionality and usability of devices. Ever since the iPhone was unveiled, it has led the way in the smartphone market despite its relatively small market share of around 17%. Its engineers understood early on that the more eye-catching something is, the more likely a consumer is to buy it. Just as if we saw a beautiful coat, or bag, or hat in a shop window, we admire new technology devices for their size, their capability, and, wait, which colours does that come in? I’ll take it in red.
We can shape our computers, our mobile phones, our iPods, and our tablets to reflect our personalities, just like a brand new pair of bright red stilettos! Like fashion, technology is changing the way we think of beauty. It’s not Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa in Paris… it’s not a flower in the midst of winter… it’s a sleek and shiny iPad.
Johnson King PR blog, November 2010