The tech company has attempted to use only social media and online chatter as a way to predict cultural fluctuations — but is their method sound?
Although IBM isn’t a brand known for its fashion sense, the company has predicted that fashion will take a retro-futuristic trend in 2013, with Steampunk being a major inspiration for brands. IBM made the prediction after measuring social sentiment and finding lots of chatter around the sub-genre, which is inspired by the clothing and technology of Victorian society.
It’s style is based around gothic machinery, rooted in the design of the industrial civilization of the 19th century, and influenced by the works of people like Jules Verne, Nikola Tesla, and HG Wells.
IBM believes that Steampunk fashion will spread to mass production and many designers will integrate the aesthetic into their upcoming products. The company used advanced analytics to research chatter from over half a million posts on message boards, blogs, social media sites, and news sources.
It found that from 2009 to 2012, the amount of Steampunk chatter increased eleven-fold. IBM also noted that Twitter is the #1 social network for Steampunk chatter, hosting six times as many discussions as Facebook. You can check out their infographic on the Steampunk trend below: