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Brief Published: 7 Mar 2018

Nostalgia Tech: Capitalising on Consumer Memory

L-R: Hyperkin, Nokia

Tech companies are responding to growing anxiety about digital saturation and gadget dependency by looking back to the exciting early years of high-tech goods and rebooting fan favourites. Tapping into consumer nostalgia in this way extends the mileage of established designs and secures sales.

US gaming console manufacturer Hyperkin announced plans to relaunch the Game Boy at this year’s CES. Named the Ultra Game Boy, the size and layout remain almost identical to the original in honour of the iconic gaming gadget. An internal battery enables the device to be charged with a USB-C port, while an aluminium case adds a sleek and modern finish. Hyperkin isn’t releasing any new games for the device, meaning it will only be able to play vintage cartridges.

Likewise, global tech company HMD – the manufacturer of Nokia phones – is rereleasing the 8110, also known affectionately as the ‘banana phone’. Its signature design has a slight curve and features a slider to answer calls and hang up. The device has been updated to suit contemporary use: the company has created a phone-specific app store to allow users to access Facebook. The move comes off the back of Nokia’s rerelease of the 3310 last year.

Read our CMF Industry View for the latest detail trends in personal electronics. For more on how brands are employing nostalgia to connect with consumer memory, read Nowstalgia Marketing. To see how designer labels are using trends of yesteryear to ease consumer concerns about an uncertain future, read our A/W 18/19 Fashion Forecast.