Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Space Travel News .




SPACE TRAVEL
Tech products can turn uncool when they become too popular
by Staff Writers
Philadelphia PA(SPX) Feb 12, 2014


The researchers asked 315 college students to give their opinions on 14 different products based on the elements of coolness taken from current literature.

In the tech world, coolness takes more than just good looks. Technology users must consider a product attractive, original and edgy before they label those products as cool, according to researchers.

That coolness can turn tepid if the product appears to be losing its edginess, they also found.

"Everyone says they know what 'cool' is, but we wanted to get at the core of what 'cool' actually is, because there's a different connotation to what cool actually means in the tech world," said S. Shyam Sundar, Distinguished Professor of Communications, Penn State, and co-director of the Media Effects Research Laboratory.

The researchers found that a cool technology trend may move like a wave. First, people in groups -- subcultures -- outside the mainstream begin to use a device. The people in the subculture are typically identified as those who stand out from most of the people in the mainstream and have an ability to stay a step ahead of the crowd, according to the researchers.

Once a device gains coolness in the subculture, the product becomes adopted by the mainstream.

However, any change to the product's subculture appeal, attractiveness or originality will affect the product's overall coolness, according to the researchers, who report their findings in the current issue of the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies. If a product becomes more widely adopted by the mainstream, for example, it becomes less cool.

"It appears to be a process," Sundar said. "Once the product loses its subculture appeal, for example, it becomes less cool, and therein lies the challenge."

The challenge is that most companies want their products to become cool and increase sales, Sundar said. However, after sells increase, the products become less cool and sales suffer. To succeed, companies must change with the times to stay cool.

"It underscores the need to develop an innovation culture in a company," Sundar said. "For a company to make products that remain cool, they must continually innovate."

However, products that have fallen out of favor can have coolness restored if the subculture adopts the technology again. For example, record players, which were replaced in coolness by digital files, are beginning to increase in popularity with the subculture, despite their limited usefulness. As a result, participants in a survey considered the record players as cool.

The researchers asked 315 college students to give their opinions on 14 different products based on the elements of coolness taken from current literature. Previously, researchers believed that coolness was largely related to a device's design and originality.

"Historically, there's a tendency to think that cool is some new technology that is thought of as attractive and novel," said Sundar. "The idea is you create something innovative and there is hype -- just as when Apple is releasing a new iPhone or iPad -- and the consumers that are standing in line to buy the product say they are buying it because it's cool."

A follow-up study with 835 participants from the U.S and South Korea narrowed the list to four elements of coolness -- subculture appeal, attractiveness, usefulness and originality -- that arose from the first study. In a third study of 317 participants, the researchers found that usefulness was integrated with the other factors and did not stand on its own as a distinguishing trait of coolness.

"The utility of a product, or its usefulness, was not as much of a part of coolness as we initially thought," said Sundar.

Such products as USB drives and GPS units, for example, were not considered cool even though they were rated high on utility. On the other hand, game consoles like Wii and X-box Kinect were rated high on coolness, but low on utility. However, many products ranking high on coolness -- Macbook, Air, Prezi Software, Instagram and Pandora -- were also seen as quite useful, but utility was not a determining factor.

"The bottom line is that a tech product will be considered cool if it is novel, attractive and capable of building a subculture around it," said Sundar.

Sundar worked with Daniel J. Tamul, assistant professor of communications, Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, and Mu Wu, graduate student, Penn State.

.


Related Links
Penn State
Space Tourism, Space Transport and Space Exploration News






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





SPACE TRAVEL
Report: U.S. science and technology lead diminishing as Asia competes
Washington (UPI) Feb 7, 2013
U.S. predominance in science and technology eroded during the last decade as many Asian nations increased their innovation capacities, a report indicates. The report released Thursday by the National Science Board - the policy making body of the National Science Foundation - said major Asian economies, taken together, now perform a larger share of global R&D than the United States, an ... read more


SPACE TRAVEL
Russia-Kazakhstan Working Group to Report on Proton Launches

Russian Telecoms Satellites Readied for March Launch

Ariane 5's heavy-lift mission is an on the numbers launch success

Antrix to launch UK and Singapore satellite using India's Polar Satellite Launcher

SPACE TRAVEL
ASU Mars camera to get new views of Red Planet

Russian-European spacecraft to go on Martian mission in Jan 2016

Flowing Water on Mars Appears Likely But Hard to Prove

NASA Mars Orbiters See Clues to Possible Water Flows

SPACE TRAVEL
Source of 'Moon Curse' Revealed by Eclipse

NASA bets on private companies to exploit moon's resources

Astrobotic Begins Testing at Masten Space Systems

NASA Extends Moon Exploring Satellite Mission

SPACE TRAVEL
Thanks America, New Horizons Ahead

Countdown to Pluto

A Busy Year Begins for New Horizons

SPACE TRAVEL
Kepler Finds a Very Wobbly Planet

One planet, two stars: new research shows how circumbinary planets form

First Weather Map of Brown Dwarf

NASA-Sponsored 'Disk Detective' Lets Public Search for New Planetary Nurseries

SPACE TRAVEL
Orion Stage Adapter Aces Structural Loads Testing

Teledyne unit wins $60 million contract to build NASA launch adapter

NASA Selects Space Launch System Adapter Hardware Manufacturer

Boeing to Mentor AMRO Through NASA Mentor-Protege Program

SPACE TRAVEL
China's Jade Rabbit rover comes 'back to life'

Yutu Awakes

Moon plays trick on Jade Rabbit

Waiting for Yutu

SPACE TRAVEL
Russian scientists break ground in new asteriod discovery

The Anatomy of an Asteroid

Getting ready for asteroids

Riding a blue-green wake of xenon to Ceres




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.