4 Memorable Product Gimmicks of 2011
The current 3-D trend began in 2009 with James Cameron's wildly successful Avatar, and when we looked more deeply at the cinematic craze last year, one analyst described 3-D as a "gimmick" that Hollywood has historically used to differentiate movies from home entertainment.
So it was perhaps a bit ironic when companies started to bring that same gimmick into the home with glasses-free 3-D technology.
Glasses-free (stereoscopic) 3-D was not a new arrival in 2011. Nor is it necessarily a gimmick: Many people say that the need to buy and wear expensive 3-D glasses is the main reason they won't buy a 3-D TV for their homes, suggesting that glasses-free 3-D TVs might be the best hope for mass adoption.But the introduction of 3-D technology to mobile devices in 2011 felt like desperation. In March Nintendo launched the 3DS, a mobile gaming system that differed from the original DS in that it offered a glasses-free 3-D display. But sales of the device were poor, leading the company to implement a massive price cut in July. And that comes as little surprise: The addition of a trendy 3-D screen felt like a distraction rather than an enhancement for a brand that's traditionally focused on gameplay and originality. Meanwhile, HTC (HTC) launched the EVO 3-D phone, which tries to distinguish itself from the dozens of other smartphones on the market with a 3-D screen and the ability to shoot photo and video in three dimensions. When a commercial for the phone implored viewers "Let's make homemade 3-D the next big thing," it felt more like a desperate plea than a serious suggestion. Critics seemed to agree. "Ultimately, while 3-D is fun and whimsical, we can't help but think it's just a gimmick," wrote gadget review site Engadget in its review of the phone. >To submit a news tip, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow TheStreet on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV