The LAT's Alex Pham reports on how "traditionally geeky manufacturers are embracing their sensitive side to develop products that evoke feelings, including joy, desire, comfort and nostalgia." Among the examples:
That's what Hannspree Inc. concluded three years ago when the Taiwanese display manufacturer decided to make its own branded TVs. But instead of churning out cheap LCD screens, Hannspree took a different tack. Last year, it launched a line of 100 TVs, each aimed at different emotional targets. One is shaped like a plush puppy, another like a baseball that is actually made of hand-stitched leather.
"If you saw a TV that looked like a baseball, you'd think it's fun," said Michael Galvin, a marketing manager for Hannspree. "And you'd know it's a gimmick. But when you touch it, it's both surprising and reassuring. You don't expect it to be the real thing. But it is, and you remember what it felt like when you held a baseball, you remember when you went to a ballpark. You connect it with whatever baseball means to you. The TV is both visual and tactile, so it's a much stronger impact."
Eventually, people will stop discovering this trend, and it will just be part of the background.