IBM: Steampunk frenzy to erupt in next two years

IBM analytics program spots high interest in steampunk look in fashion, gaming arenas

IBM
For the thousands of folks who are already into the steampunk movement this will come as no surprise but IBM has proclaimed the Victorian-era, pseudo mechanical-industrial design technology as a rising star in the fashion and even gaming worlds.

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Big Blue came to the steampunk conclusion through its Social Sentiment Index which is an analytics system that pulls in and scrutinizes data from blogs, online forums, Facebook, Twitter and myriad social media channels.  IBM says the Index's software used can distinguish between sarcasm and sincerity and use machine learning to identify important trends.

"From 2009 to 2012 the amount of social media chatter about steampunk rose by an astonishing 11 times. Recently, the 2012 Paralympics closing ceremony put the global spotlight on steampunk when singer Rihanna made her entrance on a steam sailing-ship to a world television audience of 3.4 billion. In addition, Lady Gaga has been photographed in neo-Victorian garb. Now a US television network is writing a steampunk-inspired TV show for the fall 2013 season.  Steampunk isn't just about fiction any more, and it isn't just for fans. Interesting to note, 33 percent of the chatter about fashion can be found on gaming sites," stated IBM consumer products expert Dr. Trevor Davison on the company's Smarter Planet Blog. 

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"As this trend gains momentum, the business opportunity around steampunk is being capitalized on by forward-looking retailers.  Perhaps most notably is the current Prada Fall/Winter collection for men - elegant, stripped-back steampunk fashion modeled by Gary Oldman, Garrett Hedlund, Jamie Bell, and Willem Dafoe.  Where high fashion leads, everyday fashion follows quickly in a season or two," he stated.

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