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Two new products modelled to teen lifestyle

Two new products modelled to teen lifestyle

Two new products modelled to teen lifestyle

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An interesting trend as the post-computer era emerges is the emergence of smartphones and computers aimed speciifally at teenage market, hoping to develop consumer allegiance to last a lifetime - two such products aimed squarely at the teenage market are the Hip-e, an all-in-one digital lifestyle platform and the SideKick II, the first smartphone designed for a market other than professionals. The Sidekick promotional campaign involves celebrity endorsement by the likes of Skateboard legend Tony Hawk, and the omni-present Paris Hilton.

An interesting trend as the post-computer era emerges is the emergence of smartphones and computers aimed speciifally at teenage market, hoping to develop consumer allegiance to last a lifetime - two such products aimed squarely at the teenage market are the Hip-e, an all-in-one digital lifestyle platform and the SideKick II, the first smartphone designed for a market other than professionals. The Sidekick promotional campaign involves celebrity endorsement by the likes of Skateboard legend Tony Hawk, and the omni-present Paris Hilton.

The first product is the hip-e, an all-in-one digital lifestyle platform which is inspired for and tailored to teens. While other all-in-one media packages like Meedio Essentials target the wider home entertainment demographic, the hip-e is specifically designed and tailored to meet all the computer, entertainment and digital lifestyle needs of teenagers.

By bundling instant messaging, internet, phone communication and music into one overly-styled package, hip-e is intended to be the focal point of entertainment and communication in a teenager's room.

The base for the hip-e concept is the hip-e node: a Pentium-based computer which is the docking station for hip-e music players, mobile phones, speakers and notebooks. The node has a built-in TV tuner and flat 17-inch LCD monitor which allows the unit to be wall-mounted or placed on the desktop. It can also be placed and accessed anywhere due to built-in Wi-Fi capabilities, allowing for a wireless keyboard, and wireless speakers.

Digital Lifestyle, the makers behind the product, are taking significant risks in the blatant cross promotion and the concerted effort to be "cool", because, while teens may be quick to move on to fads, they are equally quick to move away from them too.

The company's approach to marketing the product is based on a viral advertising campaign with teenage "squad leaders" spreading the word about the product to their peers. While this might be smart way to expose the product to a wider audience through teenage networking and product-selling focus groups, at the same time teenagers can be quite cynical about being force-fed advertising.

In a similar vein to the hip-e is the SideKick II, being promoted in the United States by T-Mobile. The SideKick II is a rebranded Hiptop from Danger Corporation, an all-in-one wireless communications device offering mobile web browsing, email, instant messaging, a personal information manager, game unit, and digital camera.

With improved features everywhere, the T-Mobile Sidekick II is the successor to the original T-Mobile Sidekick, which became a hit in the US. Unlike hip-e's viral advertising campaign, a more tried and true approach of sweeping advertising campaigns proved successful using popular teen icons like Paris Hilton and skateboarder Tony Hawk to promote the device.

However the strength of the Sidekick II is that it comes complete with features designed to tackle the range of applications teenagers are basing their lives around; communication and connectivity are its buzz words.

A 12-voice MIDI synthesizer plays the latest ringtones, and a swivel screen opens up to reveal a two-handed thumb entry QWERTY keyboard.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon After Editing or Managing over 50 print publications primarily in the role of a Magazine Doctor, Mike embraced the internet full-time in 1995 and became a "start-up all-rounder" – quite a few start-ups later, he founded Gizmag in 2002. Now he can write again.   All articles by Mike Hanlon
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