As its qualities are determined by the cutting edge of engineering rather than fashion or component cost, technology defines a competing system of value to traditional luxury. That hasn't stopped Bentley aiming for the old-school appeal with its curious clutch-style $20,000 laptop. Though about as powerful as a late-1990s toilet seat iBook, it even scooped the prestigious Microsoft Fashion PC Award.
You could even say that technology is a problem for makers of luxury goods. Compared to an iPhone, for example, a calculator-display $30,000 cellphone from Vertu has a serious credibility problem. One step removed from a Tomy Teletubbies Telephone sprayed with glue and rolled in diamonds, such designs tread a delicate balance between fashion and ridicule. By thoroughly concealing its functionality with creative design and ostentatious materials, however, Suissa computers' luxury desktop PCs aim to distract buyers from the spec sheet.
Makers of luxury computers have a choice to make: specs or sparkly stuff. The former invests in the diminishing returns of the aforementioned 'alternative' value system, which means maximal engineering at ostenstatious cost, doomed to rapid obsolescence. Boutique gaming PCs, where spending money on hardware is part and parcel of the enthusiast scene, are ground zero for this class of luxury item. What better example than the pure luxury PC above, which is named the Pure Luxury PC. Prices start about just shy of ten grand.
The other option is tradition; the luxuries of gold, mahogany and other artistic and material extravagances that even the most tech-illiterate consumer can appreciate. Here is the beautiful Moneual gold computer, jam-packed with features such as a Core 2 Duo processor, 6" display, and Windows Vista.
Chris Noessel and Nathan Shedroff demonstrated that in movies depicting computers in the future, the screens are mostly blue. Some interesting exceptions: 1991’s Terminator 2 made red popular, and the Matrix Trilogy made green the in thing for a while. But within a couple of years, we were back to blue. And it’s been this […]
Ed Tannenbaum animated Digital Dance in 1982. The post-disco music is by Might Dog (anyone know anything about it?), the dancer is Pons Maar, and Jim Wiseman shot the footage. Once again, I’m struck by how much glitch aesthetics are about creating memories, not deconstructing technology.
Chock-A-Block was a computer-themed educational TV show for young children that was shown on the BBC in 1981. What I still love about it is that it’s an early example of retrocomputing nostalgia, depicting a room-sized magnetic-tape mainframe to youngsters who owned their own ZX81s. Chock-A-Block was surreal and a bit druggy, like a lot […]
Almost everyone has their smartphone in a case of one kind or another. Beyond simple protection, finding a case that can charge your phone on its own, but doesn’t feel like it’s also adding a couple pounds to the phone’s weight is the tricky part. Billed as the world’s thinnest battery case, the ThinCharge iPhone […]
You never know when new projects, ideas or opportunities can drop into your lap at a moment’s notice. That may require you to learn a new programming language like Python. Or maybe you need a primer on 3D game development. Or you might realize you could use a serious brush-up on iOS mobile creation.Point is, […]
Isn’t it about time to stretch what your Mac can do? I mean, you’ve got plenty of great programs now…but don’t you think you could use some new tools to get your creative, analytical and organizational juices really flowing? It’s spring, so we cleaned up a whole bunch of super-cool apps lying around and packaged […]