Generation Why Not

Gadget frenzy for the Gen Y lifestyle

Issue: Oct 2010

Gadgets – Love of Gen Y
Generation Y’s love for gadgets like mobile phones is widespread

Call them Generation Y (Gen Y) or the Net Generation. Statistics show that they love instant gratification and are known for being go-getters. These could very well be the reasons they ask “Why not?” in the face of challenges.

Take the man behind Gmask, for instance. Clarence Lai was only 26 years old when he quit his job to single-handedly create a brand that started the gadget wrapping craze in Singapore.

“I saw the product in Japan while I was on a holiday there. I was fascinated by the idea. So, I decided to start a business here. We not only make ours better and more beautiful, we make sure our wraps protect your gadgets as well. My parents were not supportive at all initially, because I was doing very well in my previous job and my ex-employers thought highly of me. It was a tough decision at that point of time but I told myself that if I can’t afford to "sacrifice" at a young age, it would be much more difficult to start my own business at a later stage of my life,” says Lai.

His decision proved to be the right one. In five years, the Gen Y entrepreneur grew Gmask, which makes and sells vinyl-film wraps for electronic gadgets, from a pushcart in Junction 8 mall to a network of small booths and outlets. The best-performing franchise at Plaza Singapura gets around 30 customers daily.

The brand has also expanded to 12 countries, with 55 outlets in Asia, the Middle East, the South Pacific, North America and Europe.

Clarence Lai
Clarence Lai, Gen Y entrepreneur stretches the imagination of his gadget crazy generation with Gmask

Apart from its fashionable designs, Gmask gadget skins are popular because it can be applied on any gadget with absolute coverage over its corner, edge, screen or even keypad, making it scratch and water resistant, with no residual after removal.

Gmask’s entrance is certainly a well-timed one that taps on surging gadget ownership amongst the Gen Yers.

“About 50 per cent of our customers are of Generation Y,” reveals Lai.

Indeed, Gen Yers are known to be very technology dependent on gadgets and Internet connectivity. It is no wonder entrepreneurs like Clarence and marketers alike are working hard to create trends and churn out gadgets for almost any function under the sun to appeal to this generation.

Totally Plugged In

Gen Yers pride themselves on having information right at their fingertips. So staying connected is an absolute must for the trend-conscious lot. That is why the über sleek iPad with Wi-Fi plus 3G is their claim to do so in style.

Gen Y says “I do” to iPad

Gen Y can now tap into countless apps with Android phones

Nike+ Sportband
Running has been made high-tech with Nike+SportBand

Available at EpiCentre at Bugis Junction and ION Orchard, the device allows them to stay utterly connected on the go. To sweeten the experience, Gen Yers will love the freedom of equipping their iPad with over 200,000 apps in almost any category from games to education to productivity!

To ride on the apps wave, phone makers are rolling out android smartphones to attract Gen Yers, who would never be caught without their mobile phones. Based on the Google Android platform, an open source operating system that allows ‘applications without borders’, the same apps can be accessed by different phone brands and models, making it easier for Gen Yers to share applications with their friends.

More, Better, Faster

Gen Y is also a lot that seeks out labour-saving gadgets. If they can get to their goals faster and efficiently, that’s even better.

Even when it comes to hobbies, the Gen Yer is motivated to perform and use gadgets to help fast-forward their progress.

Because the Gen Yer thrives on being part of a community, the Nike+ Sportband is a perfect gadget as it links up fellow runners through to track runs and set goals. According to Nike retail supervisor Sim Pei Gek, Gen Yers make up about 50 per cent of customers who buy the Nike+ SportBand.

“Customers often return with their friends and recommend them to buy the Nike+ SportBand as well, so that they can track and compare runs with each other,” Sim says.

The Nike+ SportBand, available at Bugis Junction, functions as a watch and looks like a regular wristband but it contains a microchip to record running distance, pace, time and calories burnt. It also has a removable link that allows the user to plug it into their PCs.

When it comes to photography Gen Yers seek out anything that is instant and that will make them look like a pro without going through the arduous task of learning from scratch.

Photography skills can be improved almost instantly, making the Gen Yers look like pros with these small in size but big on performance cameras

So, forget the real art of shooting on film or lugging cumbersome camera equipment around. Gen Yers can look professional with the introduction of nifty cameras such as the SONY NEX-5, Sony’s first ultra-compact, interchangeable lens system digital camera that allows one to effortlessly capture stunning, DSLR quality photos and Full HD 1080i videos. These can be found in Sony Style outlets at Bugis Junction and IMM.

Pamper Thyself

While Gen Yers are hardcore achievers, they also guard their wellbeing fiercely and are willing to indulge in gadgets to enhance their lifestyles.

Gen Y can enjoy a cuppa fashionably in the comforts of their home with Nespresso machines

Coffee has evolved to become part of the Gen Y lifestyle today, as evident from the mushrooming of hip coffee joints. Gen Yers’ growing taste for gourmet coffee is definitely well met by Nespresso, which is a sleek coffee machine that comes with 16 colour-coded capsules containing the finest coffee blends. Simply pop in a capsule for a cuppa under a minute, and with almost zero cleaning up to do.

"The Gen Y are well-travelled, well-educated, and really appreciate the finer things in life. This is where Nespresso becomes an integral part of their lifestyle. Nespresso provides smart and stylish machines, the world's finest Grands Crus coffees sourced from the top 1 per cent of specialty gourmet coffee and personalized services,” says Stanley Samuel, Country Manager (South East Asia) of Nestle Singapore. “Our newly launched Lattisima Premium integrates all this and at the same time makes it even more convenient with cappuccino and lattes at just one touch. Anyone can become a coffee connoisseur at home!"

The range of Nespresso coffee machines are available in the Nespresso Boutique at ION Orchard and Gen Yers will find this a hassle-free choice that fits their lifestyle.

Creative ZiiSound D5
Wireless enjoyment on the Creative ZiiSound D5 speakers for the audiophile

In line with their hassle-free, instant, wireless and connected lifestyles, the Creative ZiiSound D5 speakers certainly fit the bill, allowing the Gen Yers to pair them up with any Bluetooth device and enjoy wireless music playback. These sleek speakers are widely available at Best Denki in Junction 8, IMM, Funan The IT Mall, Bugis Junction and Carrefour in Plaza Singapura.

And when it comes to beauty, technology is not spared in the Gen Y world. With the help of Zeno, a hand-held portable electronic device, they can count on it to clear up a pimple in just hours. The proprietary Zeno technology triggers a heat shock response and activates heat-shock proteins, which leads to the self-destruction of bacteria that causes pimples. You can find these pimple-zapping gadgets in all Guardian Pharmacy, Sasa and Watsons outlets at CapitaLand Malls.

Outsmart pimples with Zeno technology

With the onslaught of newer and better gadgets every single day, Gen Yers are definitely going to have a tough time suppressing their need for instant gratification!

The malls mentioned in the article are all located in Singapore.

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