Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Future Forecast: The Book as an Fetishized Object & Obsolete eReaders

Books as a Thing

According to Ann Mack's, director of trendspotting for JWT, New Normal forecast, which includes the top trends from JWT's annual report gathered from "interviews with experts and influencers across sectors including technology, luxury, social responsibility and academia," we will see the Objectifying of Objects become a Thing in 2012. "

As objects get replaced by digital/virtual counterparts, people are fetishizing the physical and the tactile," she observes, just like we have seen with the re-emergence of vinyl especially at shops like Hot Topic and Urban Outfitters that generally serve a younger generation demographic, who view records as both novel, cool and meriting homage. For book lovers and collectors, this sort of veneration has always been normal but for doomsayers who have heralded the extinction of physical books this might be a counterweight to their argument.

For the publishing industry, this trend holds a sweet upside: Lavish treatments usually reserved for cookbooks, art and coffee table books can now be extended to other genres to entice younger consumers to own their favorite book(s) in a new kitschy way.

That Kindle/Nook You got for the Holidays Will be Obsolete Pretty Soon

Ebooks, transmedia and other forms of consumable digital media aren't going anywhere but gadgets that don't follow the convergent trajectory of technology will. Matt Alexander shares and validates my perspective here in his post: The E-Reader, as we know it, is doomed.

Technology is moving so swiftly that singular function devices such as cameras, watches, organizers, walkmans, even pens, were left in the dust years ago (Hello, Palm PDA) and 2012, also foretells a huge shift in the payments sector that sees the death knell of credit cards, cash and well, even wallets. It seems that the trend is only intensifying toward a portable device that does everything and fits every need because technology is converging and improving all sectors of life as we know it.

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