From uncool to super-hip in 10 seconds or less

The concept of “cool” makes many of us cringe. As kids, we pined over the popular kid’s next-generation backpack or flashy Trapper Keeper; as adults we lust after high-tech cell phones and ultraluxurious cars (wait, your car doesn’t give directions and make you coffee? That’s like, so 2005). For the überhip among us, the quest to be “cool” never ends. Well, thanks to trendhunter.com, we all can stay one step ahead of our friends.
    Trend Hunter is a free online magazine dedicated to keeping even the most clueless of trend-hungry fashion hounds on the cutting edge of new gadgets, designs and hobbies. “Trend spotting” and “cool hunting”—finding current trends, and ferreting out those that are so cool they’re not even cool yet—isn’t a new concept for huge companies like Nike and Coca-Cola, that pay good money to divine consumers’ fickle whims. But for the everyday schlub like you and—well, not me, but you get the idea—such cutting-edge info was largely out of reach.
Until, of course, the Internet (as always) came to the rescue.
    Admittedly, Trend Hunter can be overwhelming at first, but it’s actually quite simple: quick descriptions (with great photos) of sometimes bizarre, sometimes functional new products—a laser-guided pool cue here, a self-stirring coffee mug there—which are then rated by (supposedly) in-the-know visitors, who collectively pinpoint exactly how hot the trend is right now. Curious if that alarm that snatches off your sheets when you hit the snooze button
really is all the rage? Trend Hunter can help!
    Despite their amusing appeal, many of the more out-there items, like the shower that comes complete with built-in TV, seem unlikely to ever become mainstream. Whereas others, like the device that reads printed pages out loud for the blind, border on genius. But who knows? Ten years ago, I never would have guessed that I’d be sitting in front of a glowing screen, contemplating what thousands of people think about a $345 ring that doubles as a salt shaker, so I guess anything is possible.

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