October 28, 2014

Trick or Tech: Spooky Search Results & Terrifying Technology

By Lauren C.

The costumes are ready, the pumpkins are carved, and the candy is bought. It’s Halloween: that time of year for monsters, goblins, zombies, and everything pumpkin- flavored. Like other holidays, Halloween has evolved over the years to becoming an intricate part of the eCommerce world. Halloween gurus are finding ideas for costumes and party favors on the Internet, and spending an unprecedented amount of money on online shopping in the process. For those tech geeks out there, Halloween has become an exciting holiday. Popular online search results include spooky gadgets, gizmos, and apps meant to scare the living nerd out of you. Here’s what we found for popular online search results in the past five years:

Popular search results during Halloween this year included the 3D printer, which can print a three-dimensional object. Considered unthinkable just a few short years ago, this printer allows people to make their own costume from the comfort of their own home.
Also included in this mix of popular searches is the Freak Mask by Firebox, which allows the user to send a high resolution photo of their face to Firebox, who then makes a custom made mask with the exact same facial features. One mask is only about $25.00, so this is an easy way to creep people out without going over budget on a costume.
Finally, the Skullhub USB, which is a 4 port USB hub, is a great way to terrify co-workers. It is a simple USB- charging station for your electronics, the Skullhub USB is in the shape of a giant skull with room in it for knick- knacks and even candy, to boot.

Zombies were the rage last year according to Yahoo Search Stats, and were listed as the top pop culture costume. Zombie costumes were not the only search in the spotlight, but also zombie apps. The Walking Dead app lets users change their face into zombe-esque creatures so they could send them to friends. Another popular zombie app that dominated search results was Zombie Booth, which is similar to The Walking Dead app except it was unrelated to the television show.

A popular app this year was Digital Dudz.  This mobile app allows the user to download a picture and tape the smartphone on the inside of a Digital Dudz shirt (which is sent to them in the mail), and a display from a smartphone shows through a cut out in the shirt. Because of its affordability and effectiveness, the Digital Dudz app was quite popular in 2012.
Another spooky popular app was Ghost Calm Spirit Photography, which altered pictures to make it look like a supernatural figure was standing in the background.

Parents were especially concerned in 2011 about their kids during trick- or- treating. The Trick or Tracker app was an especially popular search topic. Teens can download this app on their smartphone and parents can keep tabs on where their kids are at all times. We think that teens were probably the most spooked about this app, knowing their parents could watch them at all times.
Fright Factory is another app that was popular in 2011. A normal mobile screen would turn into a terrifying face, which is a great way to scare unsuspecting friends and family (if you can find an excuse for them to look at your phone.)

Thumbin’ a Drive was a popular creepy USB portal that looks like a human thumb. More portable than the Skullhub, Thumbin’ a Drive was perfect for smartphone and tablet users, as well as scaring the person who shares the cubicle next to you.
The Cookie Doodle is an iPad based app that allows the user to create their own personal Halloween based cookies. With dozens of possible ingredients and instructions, the user is able to design their own perfect delectable scare treat.

What Can We Make Of These Popular Search Results?

Some popular online search items throughout the past five years have been due to trends in the entertainment genre, such as zombies and shows like the Walking Dead in 2013. Other online search trends coincide with advancements in technology, for example, the 3D printer. We can see that technology has changed and affected holidays like Halloween for quite some time.

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