You might not see iPods on Paris runways, but electronics have undergone a transformation from a utilitarian necessity to a fashion accessory. While electronics aren’t exactly replacing jewelry as a status symbol – bling is still the thing – the types of gadgets a person can’t live without speaks volumes about his or her lifestyle.
Those in the halls of power can’t live without a BlackBerry – nor can Hollywood celebrities, it seems. Keeping in touch – anywhere, anytime – makes everything from cell phones to Bluetooth to PDAs must-haves. The popularity of electronics hasn’t escaped the notice of those in the automotive world, as microchips have migrated from those controlling the vehicle’s on-board computer system to the automotive accessory of the year – the Global Positioning System (GPS).
There are, of course, the ubiquitous headsets, which are connected to cell phones, MP3 players, or – for the electronics fashionista – the iPod nano. On any give airline flight, passengers will have a mind-boggling array of electronics on board to entertain them or keep them otherwise occupied. Computers, music players, and portable gaming devices all appear once cruising altitude is reached. With the plethora of must-have electronics devices, it’s a wonder that today’s travelers have room to pack their clothes!
Electronics have also begun to accessorize the home. When the X-Box 360 sold out before Christmas 2005, eBay sellers raked in the cash for the must-have gaming console, which sold on the auction site for $1,000 or more. Plasma and LCD televisions are proudly displayed on walls, while microchips are finding their way into our kitchen appliances. While true wireless integration is still some time away, the stage is being set for complete interactivity among all our electronic devices.
Luckily for consumers, the cost of electronics goes down with the passage of time. The newest and greatest must-have is sure to be priced at a discount within eighteen months, and will grace the clearance aisle a year after that. In the meantime, those of us who don’t have the cash or the desire to keep up with the trends on the fashion runways or the trends in the world of electronics can continue to observe how the other half lives.