Few people have heard of it, yet many consider John Blankenbaker's KENBAK-1 to be the first commercial personal computer.

Koss introduced these headphones over 40 years ago, and they remain affordable favorites to this day.

Cosmetics Go High Def


Big shifts in technology are inevitably accompanied by "me too" branding of totally unrelated products.  Think of the famous Radio Flyer wagon.  The word "radio" was added to the name of the wagon as radio was the spectacular new invention of the age, and I guess the manufacturers wanted to make their little red wagon sound more technologically "sexy" (and yes - I really regret referring to a wagon as "sexy").  In the 50's, countless products added the word "atomic" to their names as well.

I've had a few good years of jokingly wondering when mundane products would be introduced in useless HD variants - HD kite twine, HD raviolli... but now it's really starting to happen.  Several beauty firms are introducing lines of "high definition" makeup, and one even has a category of "blu_ray" cosmetics (note the trademark-dodging underscore!).

SmashboxCargo, Christian Dior, and Smashbox have all added High Def features to their makeup lines.  Their sales pitch is that these makeup products will better prepare women for the rigors of close inspection, implying that the greater detail of HD cameras will be able to see through lesser makeups. 

Let's put aside for a moment that only a teeny-tiny fraction of people have to be concerned about being "camera ready" all day long.  Hasn't makeup always been sold to us by movie stars & super models?  Haven't they always touted the perfection of their look when on a 100-foot movie screen, or a 100-foot billboard?  Are these companies now saying that those makeup products are somehow not ready for HD primetime?

I don't see this being a big success.  It's hard to think that anyone shopping for makeup is going to pass up established glamor product lines for these new technology-laced names (unless women are sending their videophile husbands to do the make-up shopping).  I'll just take comfort that perhaps we are closer to the day when marketers will finally stop branding stuff with a lower case "i" in the front.


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