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Consumer electronics or home electronics are
electronic Electronic may refer to: *Electronics Electronics comprises the physics, engineering, technology and applications that deal with the emission, flow and control of electrons in vacuum and matter. It uses active devices to control electron flow b ...
( analog or
digital Digital usually refers to something using digits, particularly binary digits. Technology and computing Hardware *Digital electronics Digital electronics is a field of electronics Electronics comprises the physics, engineering, technology a ...
) equipment intended for everyday use, typically in private homes. Consumer electronics include devices used for
entertainment Entertainment is a form of activity that holds the attention and interest In finance Finance is the study of financial institutions, financial markets and how they operate within the financial system. It is concerned with the creatio ...

entertainment
,
communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to b ...

communication
s and
recreation Recreation is an activity of leisure Leisure has often been defined as a quality of experience or as free time. Free time is time spent away from business, Employment, work, job hunting, Housekeeping, domestic chores, and education, as wel ...

recreation
. Usually referred to as black goods due to many products being housed in black or dark casings. This term is used to distinguish them from "
white goods A major appliance, also known as a large domestic appliance or large electric appliance or simply a large appliance, large domestic, or large electric, is a non-portable or semi-portable machine used for routine housekeeping tasks such as cooking, ...
" which are meant for
housekeeping Housekeeping refers to the management of duties and chores involved in the running of a household, such as cleaning, cooking, home maintenance, shopping, and bill payment. These tasks may be performed by members of the household, or by other pers ...
tasks, such as
washing machines A washing machine (laundry machine, clothes washer, or washer) is a home appliance A home appliance, also referred to as a domestic appliance, an electric appliance or a household appliance, is a machine which assists in household A househ ...
and
refrigerators A refrigerator (colloquially fridge) is a home appliance consisting of a thermal insulation, thermally insulated compartment and a heat pump (mechanical, electronic or chemical) that transfers heat from its inside to its external environment s ...

refrigerators
, although nowadays, these would be considered black goods, some of these being connected to the
Internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and devices. It is a ''internetworking, network of networks'' that consist ...

Internet
. In British English, they are often called brown goods by producers and sellers. In the 2010s, this distinction is absent in large big box
consumer electronics store 1923 advertisement for phonographs and radios at Barker Bros., a furniture department store in Downtown Los Angeles A consumer electronics store, in the United States and some other countries, is a physical store that sells consumer electronics ...
s, which sell both entertainment, communication, and home office devices and kitchen appliances such as refrigerators.
Radio broadcasting Long wave radio broadcasting station, Motala, Sweden upBroadcasting tower in Trondheim, Norway Radio broadcasting is transmission of audio Audio most commonly refers to sound In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπ ...
in the early 20th century brought the first major consumer product, the broadcast receiver. Later products included
telephone A telephone is a telecommunication Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over wire A wire is a single usually cylindrical A cylinder (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anyt ...

telephone
s,
television Television, sometimes shortened to TV or telly, is a telecommunication Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over wire A wire is a single usually cylindrical A cylinder (from Gre ...

television
s, and
calculator An electronic calculator is typically a portable device used to perform s, ranging from basic to complex . The first calculator was created in the early 1960s. Pocket-sized devices became available in the 1970s, especially after the , the f ...

calculator
s, then audio and video recorders and players,
game consoles A video game console is an electronic or computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform generic sets of operations known as C ...
,
mobile phones A mobile phone, cellular phone, cell phone, cellphone, handphone, or hand phone, sometimes shortened to simply mobile, cell or just phone, is a portable telephone A telephone is a telecommunication Telecommunication is the tra ...

mobile phones
,
personal computer A personal computer (PC) is a multi-purpose computer whose size, capabilities, and price make it feasible for individual use. Personal computers are intended to be operated directly by an end user, rather than by a computer expert or technician ...
s and
MP3 player#REDIRECT MP3 MP3 (formally MPEG-1 Audio Layer III or MPEG-2 Audio Layer III) is a coding format for digital audio Digital audio is a representation of sound recorded in, or converted into, Digital signal (signal processing), digital form. ...
s. In the 2010s, consumer electronics stores often sell
GPS The Global Positioning System (GPS), originally Navstar GPS, is a satellite-based radionavigation system owned by the United States government The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government) is the national ...
,
automotive electronics Automotive electronics are electronic systems used in vehicles, including engine An engine or motor is a machine designed to convert one form of energy into mechanical energy. Heat engines convert heat into work via various thermodynamic pr ...
(
car stereo A car (or automobile) is a wheeled motor vehicle A motor vehicle, also known as motorized vehicle or automotive vehicle, is a self-propelled vehicle A vehicle (from la, vehiculum) is a machine that transports people or cargo. Vehicle ...
s),
video game console A video game console is an electronic device that output Output may refer to: * The information produced by a computer, see Input/output In computing, input/output (I/O, or informally io or IO) is the communication between an information pro ...
s,
electronic musical instrument An electronic musical instrument or electrophone is a musical instrument that produces sound using electronics, electronic circuitry. Such an instrument sounds by outputting an electrical, electronic or digital audio signal that ultimately is pl ...
s (e.g.,
synthesizer A synthesizer (also spelled synthesiser) is an electronic musical instrument An electronic musical instrument is a musical instrument that produces sound using electronics, electronic circuitry. Such an instrument sounds by outputting an el ...

synthesizer
keyboards),
karaoke machine Karaoke (; ; , clipped compound of Japanese ''kara'' "empty" and ''ōkesutora'' "orchestra") is a type of interactive entertainment usually offered in clubs and bars, where people sing along to recorded music using a microphone. The music is an ...
s,
digital camera A digital camera is a camera A camera is an optical Optics is the branch of physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its Motion (physics), motion and behav ...

digital camera
s, and video players ( VCRs in the 1980s and 1990s, followed by
DVD player A DVD player is a device that plays DVD The DVD (common abbreviation for Digital Video Disc or Digital Versatile Disc) is a digital Digital usually refers to something using digits, particularly binary digits. Technology and computing ...

DVD player
s and
Blu-ray The Blu-ray Disc (BD), often known simply as Blu-ray, is a digital Digital usually refers to something using digits, particularly binary digits. Technology and computing Hardware *Digital electronics Digital electronics is a field of elec ...
players). Stores also sell
smart appliance A home network or home area network (HAN) is a type of computer network A computer network is a group of computers that use a set of common communication protocols over digital signal, digital interconnections for the purpose of sharing res ...
s,
digital camera A digital camera is a camera A camera is an optical Optics is the branch of physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its Motion (physics), motion and behav ...

digital camera
s,
camcorder A camcorder is an electronic device originally combining a video camera A video camera is a camera A camera is an optical Optics is the branch of physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗ ...

camcorder
s,
cell phone A mobile phone, cellular phone, cell phone, cellphone, handphone, or hand phone, sometimes shortened to simply mobile, cell or just phone, is a portable telephone A telephone is a telecommunication Telecommunication is the tra ...

cell phone
s, and
smartphone A smartphone is a portable device A mobile device (or handheld computer) is a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can per ...

smartphone
s. Some of the newer products sold include
virtual reality Virtual reality (VR) is a simulated experience that can be similar to or completely different from the real world. Applications of virtual reality Virtual reality applications are applications that make use of virtual reality Virtual ...

virtual reality
head-mounted display A head-mounted display (HMD) is a display device, worn on the head or as part of a helmet (See Helmet-mounted display A helmet-mounted display (HMD) is a device used in aircraft to project information to the pilot's eyes. Its scope is similar to ...
goggles, smart home devices that
connect home devices to the Internet
connect home devices to the Internet
and
wearable technology Wearable technology, wearables, fashion technology, smartwear, tech togs, streetwear tech, skin electronics or fashion electronics are smart electronic devices (electronic device with micro-controllers) that are worn close to and/or on the surface ...
. In the 2010s, most consumer electronics have become based on digital technologies, and have largely merged with the
computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to Execution (computing), carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform generic sets of operations known as Computer program, programs. These ...

computer
industry in what is increasingly referred to as the
consumerization Consumerization is the reorientation of product and service designs to focus on (and market Market may refer to: *Market (economics) *Market economy *Marketplace, a physical marketplace or public market Geography *Märket, an island shared by ...
of information technology. Some consumer electronics stores, have also begun selling office and baby
furniture Furniture refers to movable objects intended to support various human activities such as seating (e.g., chairs, stools, and sofas), eating (table (furniture), tables), and sleeping (e.g., beds). Furniture is also used to hold objects at a con ...

furniture
.
Consumer electronics store 1923 advertisement for phonographs and radios at Barker Bros., a furniture department store in Downtown Los Angeles A consumer electronics store, in the United States and some other countries, is a physical store that sells consumer electronics ...
s may be "
brick and mortar Brick and mortar (also bricks and mortar or B&M) refers to a physical presence of an organization or business in a building or other structure. The term ''brick-and-mortar business'' is often used to refer to a company that possesses or leases r ...
" physical retail stores, online stores, or combinations of both. Annual consumer electronics sales are expected to reach by 2020. It is part of the wider
electronics industry The electronics industry is the economic sector that produces electronic devices. It emerged in the 20th century and is today one of the largest global industries. Contemporary society uses a vast array of electronic devices built in automated or s ...
. In turn, the driving force behind the electronics industry is the
semiconductor industry The semiconductor industry is the aggregate of companies engaged in the design A design is a plan or specification for the construction of an object or system or for the implementation of an activity or process, or the result of that plan or ...
. The basic building block of modern electronics is the
MOSFET The metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET, MOS-FET, or MOS FET), also known as the metal–oxide–silicon transistor (MOS transistor, or MOS), is a type of insulated-gate field-effect transistor that is fabricated by th ...

MOSFET
(metal-oxide-silicon field-effect transistor, or MOS transistor), the
scaling Scaling may refer to: Science and technology Mathematics and physics * Scaling (geometry), a linear transformation that enlarges or diminishes objects * Scale invariance, a feature of objects or laws that do not change if scales of length, energy ...
and
miniaturization Miniaturization ( Br.Eng.: ''Miniaturisation'') is the trend to manufacture ever smaller mechanical, optical and electronic products and devices. Examples include miniaturization of mobile phones A mobile phone, cellular phone, cell phone, ...
of which has been the primary factor behind the rapid exponential growth of electronic technology since the 1960s.


History

For its first fifty years the
phonograph A phonograph, in its later forms also called a gramophone (as a trademark since 1887, as a generic name in the UK since 1910) or since the 1940s called a record player, is a device for the mechanical and analogue recording and reproduction ...

phonograph
turntable did not use electronics; the needle and soundhorn were purely mechanical technologies. However, in the 1920s,
radio broadcasting Long wave radio broadcasting station, Motala, Sweden upBroadcasting tower in Trondheim, Norway Radio broadcasting is transmission of audio Audio most commonly refers to sound In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπ ...
became the basis of
mass production Mass production, also known as flow production or continuous production, is the production of substantial amounts of standardized Standardization or standardisation is the process of implementing and developing technical standard A techni ...
of
radio receiver In radio, radio communications, a radio receiver, also known as a receiver, a wireless, or simply a radio, is an electronic device that receives radio waves and converts the information carried by them to a usable form. It is used with an anten ...

radio receiver
s. The
vacuum tube A vacuum tube, electron tube, valve (British usage), or tube (North America), is a device that controls electric current flow in a high vacuum between electrodes to which an electric voltage, potential difference has been applied. The type kn ...
s that had made radios practical were used with record players as well, to
amplify Amplification or Amplified or Amplify may refer to: Science and technology * Amplification, the operation of an amplifier, a natural or artificial device intended to make a signal stronger * Amplification (molecular biology), a mechanism leading to ...
the sound so that it could be played through a
loudspeaker A loudspeaker (or ''speaker driver'', or most frequently just ''speaker'') is an Acoustical engineering#Electroacoustics, electroacoustic transducer, that is, a device that converts an electrical audio signal into a corresponding sound. A ''spe ...

loudspeaker
.
Television Television, sometimes shortened to TV or telly, is a telecommunication Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over wire A wire is a single usually cylindrical A cylinder (from Gre ...

Television
was soon invented, but remained insignificant in the consumer market until the 1950s. The first working
transistor upright=1.4, gate Candi bentar, a typical Indonesian gate that is often found on the islands of Java">Indonesia.html" ;"title="Candi bentar, a typical Indonesia">Candi bentar, a typical Indonesian gate that is often found on the islands o ...

transistor
, a
point-contact transistor The point-contact transistor was the first type of transistor file:MOSFET Structure.png, upright=1.4, Metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET), showing Metal gate, gate (G), body (B), source (S) and drain (D) terminals. The g ...

point-contact transistor
, was invented by
John Bardeen John Bardeen (; May 23, 1908 – January 30, 1991) was an American engineer Engineers, as practitioners of engineering Engineering is the use of scientific method, scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and o ...
and
Walter Houser Brattain Walter Houser Brattain (; February 10, 1902 – October 13, 1987) was an American physicist at Bell Labs Nokia Bell Labs (formerly named Bell Labs Innovations (1996–2007), AT&T Bell Laboratories (1984–1996) and Bell Telephone Laboratories ...
at
Bell Laboratories Nokia Bell Labs (formerly named Bell Labs Innovations (1996–2007), AT&T Bell Laboratories (1984–1996) and Bell Telephone Laboratories (1925–1984)) is an American industrial research and scientific development company A company, abbrev ...
in 1947, which led to significant research in the field of solid-state
semiconductors A semiconductor material has an electrical conductivity Electrical resistivity (also called specific electrical resistance or volume resistivity) is a fundamental property of a material that quantifies how strongly it resists electric curren ...

semiconductors
in the early 1950s. The invention and development of the earliest transistors at Bell led to
transistor radio A transistor radio is a small portable radio receiver radio in the 1940s. During the golden age of radio, 1925–1955, families gathered to listen to the home radio receiver in the evening In radio, radio communications, a radio receiver, al ...

transistor radio
s. This led to the emergence of the home entertainment consumer electronics industry starting in the 1950s, largely due to the efforts of
Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo is a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Kōnan, Minato, Tokyo is a special ward in Tokyo Tokyo ( , ; Japanese language, Japanese: 東京, ''Tōkyō'' ), officially the Tokyo Metropolis (Japanes ...
(now
Sony , commonly known as Sony and stylized as SONY, is a Japanese multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from mult ...

Sony
) in successfully commercializing transistor technology for a mass market, with affordable transistor radios and then transistorized
television sets File:Sony Wega TV set.jpg, A Sony WEGA, Sony Wega CRT television set A television set or television receiver, more commonly called a television, TV, TV set, telly, or tele, is a device that combines a tuner, display, and loudspeakers, for the pu ...
.
Mohamed M. Atalla Mohamed M. Atalla ( ar, محمد عطاالله; August 4, 1924 – December 30, 2009) was an Egyptian-American engineer, physical chemist Physical chemistry is the study of macroscopic The macroscopic scale is the length scale on which ...

Mohamed M. Atalla
's
surface passivation Water droplet lying on a damask. Surface tension">damask.html" ;"title="Water droplet lying on a damask">Water droplet lying on a damask. Surface tension is high enough to prevent floating below the textile. A surface, as the term is most gener ...
process, developed at Bell in 1957, led to the
planar process The planar process is a manufacturing process used in the semiconductor industry to build individual components of a transistor file:MOSFET Structure.png, upright=1.4, Metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET), showing Metal g ...
and
planar transistor A diffused junction transistor is a transistor formed by diffusing dopants into a semiconductor Wafer (electronics), substrate. The diffusion process was developed later than the Alloy-junction transistor, alloy junction and Grown-junction transisto ...
developed by
Jean HoerniJean Amédée Hoerni (September 26, 1924 – January 12, 1997) was a Swiss-American engineer. He was a silicon transistor pioneer, and a member of the " traitorous eight". He developed the planar process, an important technology for reliably fabr ...
at
Fairchild Semiconductor Fairchild Semiconductor International, Inc. was an American semiconductor A semiconductor material has an electrical conductivity Electrical resistivity (also called specific electrical resistance or volume resistivity) is a fundamental pr ...
in 1959, from which comes the origins of
Moore's law Moore's law is the observation that the number of transistor upright=1.4, gate Candi bentar, a typical Indonesian gate that is often found on the islands of Java">Indonesia.html" ;"title="Candi bentar, a typical Indonesia">Candi be ...
, and the invention of the
MOSFET The metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET, MOS-FET, or MOS FET), also known as the metal–oxide–silicon transistor (MOS transistor, or MOS), is a type of insulated-gate field-effect transistor that is fabricated by th ...

MOSFET
(metal–oxide–silicon field-effect transistor, or MOS transistor) by Mohamed Atalla and
Dawon Kahng Dawon Kahng ( ko, 강대원; May 4, 1931 – May 13, 1992) was a Korean-American electrical engineer and inventor, known for his work in solid-state electronics Solid-state electronics means semiconductor A semiconductor material has an el ...

Dawon Kahng
at Bell in 1959. The MOSFET was the first truly compact transistor that could be miniaturised and mass-produced for a wide range of uses, enabling Moore's law and revolutionizing the
electronics industry The electronics industry is the economic sector that produces electronic devices. It emerged in the 20th century and is today one of the largest global industries. Contemporary society uses a vast array of electronic devices built in automated or s ...
. It has since been the building block of modern
digital electronics Digital electronics is a field of electronics The field of electronics is a branch of physics and electrical engineering that deals with the emission, behaviour and effects of electrons The electron is a subatomic particle In physica ...
, and the "workhorse" of the electronics industry.
Integrated circuit An integrated circuit or monolithic integrated circuit (also referred to as an IC, a chip, or a microchip) is a set of electronic circuit 200px, A circuit built on a printed circuit board (PCB). An electronic circuit is composed of indiv ...

Integrated circuit
s (ICs) followed when manufacturers built circuits (usually for military purposes) on a single substrate using electrical connections between circuits within the chip itself. The most common type of IC is the
MOS integrated circuit file:MOSFET Structure.png, upright=1.6, MOSFET, showing metal gate, gate (G), body (B), source (S) and drain (D) terminals. The gate is separated from the body by an gate oxide, insulating layer (pink). The metal–oxide–semiconductor field-eff ...
chip, capable of the
large-scale integration An integrated circuit or monolithic integrated circuit (also referred to as an IC, a chip, or a microchip) is a set of electronic circuit File:PExdcr01CJC.jpg, 200px, A circuit built on a printed circuit board (PCB). An electronic circuit i ...
(LSI) of MOSFETs on an IC chip. MOS technology led to more advanced and cheaper consumer electronics, such as transistorized televisions,
pocket calculators An electronic calculator is typically a portable Electronics, electronic device used to perform calculations, ranging from basic arithmetic to complex mathematics. The first Solid-state electronics, solid-state electronic calculator was created ...
, and by the 1980s, affordable
video game#REDIRECT Video game A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface or input device such as a joystick, game controller, controller, computer keyboard, keyboard, or motion sensing device to generate visual f ...
consoles and
personal computer A personal computer (PC) is a multi-purpose computer whose size, capabilities, and price make it feasible for individual use. Personal computers are intended to be operated directly by an end user, rather than by a computer expert or technician ...
s that regular middle-class families could buy. The rapid progress of the electronics industry during the late 20th to early 21st centuries was achieved by rapid
MOSFET scaling The metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET, MOS-FET, or MOS FET), also known as the metal–oxide–silicon transistor (MOS transistor, or MOS), is a type of insulated-gate field-effect transistor The field-effect trans ...
(related to
Dennard scalingDennard may refer to: People with the surname * Alfonzo Dennard, a professional American football cornerback, cousin to Darqueze * Amery Dennard, known as Big Herk, an American rapper * Brazeal Dennard, an American singer and educator * Darqueze ...
and Moore's law), down to sub-micron levels and then
nanoelectronics Nanoelectronics refers to the use of nanotechnology Nanotechnology, also shortened to nanotech, is the use of matter on an atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is ...
in the early 21st century. The MOSFET is the most widely manufactured device in history, with an estimated total of 13
sextillion This article lists and discusses the usage and derivation of names of large numbers, together with their possible extensions. The following table lists those names of large number Numbers that are significantly larger than those typically used ...
MOSFETs manufactured between 1960 and 2018.


Products

Consumer electronics devices include those used for *
entertainment Entertainment is a form of activity that holds the attention and interest In finance Finance is the study of financial institutions, financial markets and how they operate within the financial system. It is concerned with the creatio ...

entertainment
( flatscreen TVs,
television set A television set or television receiver, more commonly called the television, TV, TV set, tube, telly, or tele, is a device that combines a tuner, display, and loudspeakers, for the purpose of viewing and hearing television Television ...
s,
MP3 player#REDIRECT MP3 MP3 (formally MPEG-1 Audio Layer III or MPEG-2 Audio Layer III) is a coding format for digital audio Digital audio is a representation of sound recorded in, or converted into, Digital signal (signal processing), digital form. ...
s, ,
DVD player A DVD player is a device that plays DVD The DVD (common abbreviation for Digital Video Disc or Digital Versatile Disc) is a digital Digital usually refers to something using digits, particularly binary digits. Technology and computing ...

DVD player
s,
radio receiver In radio, radio communications, a radio receiver, also known as a receiver, a wireless, or simply a radio, is an electronic device that receives radio waves and converts the information carried by them to a usable form. It is used with an anten ...

radio receiver
s, etc.) *
communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to b ...

communication
s (
telephone A telephone is a telecommunication Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over wire A wire is a single usually cylindrical A cylinder (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anyt ...

telephone
s,
cell phone A mobile phone, cellular phone, cell phone, cellphone, handphone, or hand phone, sometimes shortened to simply mobile, cell or just phone, is a portable telephone A telephone is a telecommunication Telecommunication is the tra ...

cell phone
s,
e-mail upThe email_address.html"_;"title="at_sign,_a_part_of_every_SMTP_email_address">at_sign,_a_part_of_every_SMTP_email_address Electronic_mail_(email_or_e-mail)_is_a_method_of_exchanging_messages_("mail")_between_people_using_electronic_dev ...

e-mail
-capable
personal computer A personal computer (PC) is a multi-purpose computer whose size, capabilities, and price make it feasible for individual use. Personal computers are intended to be operated directly by an end user, rather than by a computer expert or technician ...
s,
desktop computer A desktop computer is a personal computer A personal computer (PC) is a multi-purpose computer whose size, capabilities, and price make it feasible for individual use. Personal computers are intended to be operated directly by an end user, ...
s,
laptop A laptop, laptop computer, or notebook computer is a small, portable personal computer A personal computer (PC) is a multi-purpose computer whose size, capabilities, and price make it feasible for individual use. Personal computers are ...

laptop
s,
printer Printers may be: Technology * Printer (publishing) In publishing, printers are both companies A company, abbreviated as co., is a Legal personality, legal entity representing an association of people, whether Natural person, natural, Legal ...
s,
paper shredder A paper shredder is a mechanical device used to cut paper Paper is a thin sheet material produced by mechanically and/or chemically processing cellulose fibres derived from wood, Textile, rags, poaceae, grasses or other vegetable sources in ...

paper shredder
s, etc.) *
recreation Recreation is an activity of leisure Leisure has often been defined as a quality of experience or as free time. Free time is time spent away from business, Employment, work, job hunting, Housekeeping, domestic chores, and education, as wel ...

recreation
(
digital camera A digital camera is a camera A camera is an optical Optics is the branch of physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its Motion (physics), motion and behav ...

digital camera
s,
camcorder A camcorder is an electronic device originally combining a video camera A video camera is a camera A camera is an optical Optics is the branch of physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗ ...

camcorder
s,
video game console A video game console is an electronic device that output Output may refer to: * The information produced by a computer, see Input/output In computing, input/output (I/O, or informally io or IO) is the communication between an information pro ...
s,
ROM cartridge A game cartridge, usually referred to in context simply as a cartridge, cart, or card, is a replaceable part designed to be connected to a consumer electronics Consumer electronics or home electronics are electronic Electronic may refer ...
s,
remote control car Radio-controlled cars (or RC cars for short) are miniature model cars or trucks that can be controlled from a distance using a specialized transmitter or remote. The term "RC" has been used to mean both "remote controlled" and "radio controlled", ...
s,
Robot kit NXT set. A robot kit is a special construction kit for building robot A robot is a machine—especially one programmable by a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical o ...
s, etc.). Increasingly consumer electronics products such as
Digital distribution of video games In the video game industry, digital distribution is the process of delivering video game A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface or input device such as a joystick, game controller, controller, co ...
have become based on internet and digital technologies. Consumer electronics industry has largely merged with the
software industry The software industry includes businesses for development Development or developing may refer to: Arts *Development hell, when a project is stuck in development *Filmmaking#Development, Filmmaking, development phase, including finance and bu ...
in what is increasingly referred to as the
consumerization Consumerization is the reorientation of product and service designs to focus on (and market Market may refer to: *Market (economics) *Market economy *Marketplace, a physical marketplace or public market Geography *Märket, an island shared by ...
of information technology.


Trends

One overriding characteristic of consumer electronic products is the trend of ever-falling prices. This is driven by gains in manufacturing efficiency and
automation Automation describes a wide range of technologies that reduce human intervention in processes. Human intervention is reduced by predetermining decision criteria, subprocess relationships, and related actions — and embodying those predeterm ...
, lower
labor Labour or labor may refer to: * , the delivery of a baby * , or work ** , physical work ** , a socioeconomic relationship between a worker and an employer Literature * , an American quarterly on the history of the labor movement * ', an academic ...
costs as manufacturing has moved to lower-wage countries, and improvements in
semiconductor A semiconductor material has an electrical conductivity Electrical resistivity (also called specific electrical resistance or volume resistivity) is a fundamental property of a material that measures how strongly it resists electric curre ...
design. Semiconductor components benefit from
Moore's law Moore's law is the observation that the number of transistor upright=1.4, gate Candi bentar, a typical Indonesian gate that is often found on the islands of Java">Indonesia.html" ;"title="Candi bentar, a typical Indonesia">Candi be ...
, an observed principle which states that, for a given price, semiconductor functionality doubles every two years. While consumer electronics continues in its trend of
convergence Convergence may refer to: Arts and media Literature *Convergence (book series), ''Convergence'' (book series), edited by Ruth Nanda Anshen *Convergence (comics), "Convergence" (comics), two separate story lines published by DC Comics: **A four-par ...
, combining elements of many products, consumers face different decisions when purchasing. There is an ever-increasing need to keep product information updated and comparable, for the consumer to make an informed choice. Style, price, specification, and performance are all relevant. There is a gradual shift towards
e-commerce E-commerce (electronic commerce) is the activity of electronically The field of electronics is a branch of physics and electrical engineering that deals with the emission, behaviour and effects of electrons using electronic devices. Electronics ...

e-commerce
web-storefronts. Many products include
Internet connectivity Internet access is the ability of individuals and organizations to connect to the Internet using computer terminals, computers, and other devices; and to access services such as email and the History of the World Wide Web, World Wide Web. Internet ...
using technologies such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, EDGE, or Ethernet. Products not traditionally associated with computer use (such as Internet TV, TVs or Hi-Fi equipment) now provide options to connect to the Internet or to a computer using a home network to provide access to digital content. The desire for High-definition television, high-definition (HD) content has led the industry to develop a number of technologies, such as WirelessHD or ITU-T G.hn, which are optimized for distribution of HD content between consumer electronic devices in a home.


Industries

The electronics industry, especially meaning consumer electronics, emerged in the 20th century and has now become a global industry worth billions of dollars. Contemporary society uses all manner of electronic devices built in automated or semi-automated factories operated by the industry.


Manufacturing

Most consumer electronics are built in China, due to maintenance cost, availability of materials, quality, and speed as opposed to other countries such as the United States. Cities such as Shenzhen have become important production centres for the industry, attracting many consumer electronics companies such as Apple Inc.


Electronic component

An electronic component is any basic discrete device or physical entity in an electronic system used to affect electrons or their associated fields. Electronic components are mostly industrial products, available in a singular form and are not to be confused with electrical elements, which are conceptual abstractions representing idealized electronic components.


Software development

Consumer electronics such as personal computers use various types of software. Embedded software is used within some consumer electronics, such as mobile phones. This type of software may be embedded within the hardware of electronic devices. Some consumer electronics include software that is used on a personal computer in conjunction with electronic devices, such as
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s and
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s, and third-party software for such devices also exists.


Standardization

Some consumer electronics adhere to protocols, such as Communications protocol, connection protocols "to high speed bi-directional signals". In telecommunications, a communications protocol is a system of digital rules for data exchange within or between computers.


Trade shows

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) trade show has taken place yearly in Las Vegas Valley, Las Vegas, Nevada since its foundation in 1973. The event, which grew from having 100 exhibitors in its inaugural year to more than 4,500 exhibiting companies in its 2020 edition, features the latest in consumer electronics, speeches by industry experts and innovation awards. The Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin (IFA) trade show has taken place Berlin, Germany since its foundation in 1924. The event features new consumer electronics and speeches by industry pioneers.


IEEE initiatives

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the world's largest professional society, has many initiatives to advance the state of the art of consumer electronics. IEEE has a dedicated society of thousands of professionals to promote CE, called the IEEE Consumer Electronics Society, Consumer Electronics Society (CESoc). IEEE has multiple periodicals and international conferences to promote CE and encourage collaborative research and development in CE. The flagship conference of CESoc, called IEEE International Conference on Consumer Electronics (ICCE), is on its 35th year. * IEEE Transactions on Consumer Electronics * IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine * IEEE International Conference on Consumer Electronics (ICCE)


Retailing

Electronics retailing is a significant part of the retail industry in many countries. In the United States, dedicated
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s have mostly given way to big-box retailers such as Best Buy, the largest consumer electronics retailer in the country, although smaller dedicated stores include Apple Stores, and specialist stores that serve, for example, audiophiles and exceptions, such as the single-branch B&H Photo store in New York City. Broad-based retailers, such as Walmart and Target Corporation, Target, also sell consumer electronics in many of their stores. In April 2014, retail e-commerce sales were the highest in the consumer electronic and computer categories as well. Some consumer electronics retailers offer Extended warranty, extended warranties on products with programs such as ''SquareTrade''. An electronics district is an area of commerce with a high density of retail stores that sell consumer electronics.


Service and repair

Consumer electronic service can refer to the maintenance of said products. When consumer electronics have malfunctions, they may sometimes be repaired. In 2013, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the increased popularity in listening to sound from Analog recording, analog audio devices, such as record players, as opposed to digital sound, has sparked a noticeable increase of business for the electronic repair industry there.


Mobile phone industry

A mobile phone, cellular phone, cell phone, cellphone, handphone, or hand phone, sometimes shortened to simply mobile, cell or just phone, is a portable
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that can make and receive telephone call, calls over a radio frequency link while the user is moving within a telephone service area. The radio frequency link establishes a connection to the switching systems of a mobile phone operator, which provides access to the public switched telephone network (PSTN). Modern mobile telephone services use a cellular network architecture and, therefore, mobile telephones are called ''cellular telephones'' or ''cell phones'' in North America. In addition to telephony, digital mobile phones (2G) support a variety of other GSM services, services, such as text messaging, Multimedia Messaging Service, MMS, email, Internet access, short-range wireless communications (Infrared Data Association, infrared, Bluetooth), business applications, video games and digital photography. Mobile phones offering only those capabilities are known as feature phones; mobile phones which offer greatly advanced computing capabilities are referred to as
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s. A
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is a Mobile device, portable device that combines Mobile phone, mobile telephone and Mobile computing, computing functions into one unit. They are distinguished from feature phones by their stronger hardware capabilities and extensive mobile operating systems, which facilitate wider application software, software, internet (including web browsing over mobile broadband), and multimedia functionality (including music, video, camera phone, cameras, and mobile gaming, gaming), alongside core phone functions such as telephone call, voice calls and text messaging. Smartphones typically contain a number of metal–oxide–semiconductor (MOS) integrated circuit (IC) chips, include various sensors that can be leveraged by pre-included and third-party software (such as a magnetometer, proximity sensors, barometer, gyroscope, accelerometer and #Sensors, more), and support wireless communications protocols (such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or satellite navigation).


By country


Environmental impact

In 2017, the Greenpeace USA published a study of 17 of the world's leading consumer electronics companies in relation to their energy and resource consumption and the use of chemicals.


Rare metals and rare earth elements

Electronic devices use thousands Precious metal, rare metals and Rare-earth element, rare earth elements (40 on average for a
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), these material are extracted and refined using water and energy-intensive processes. These metals are also used in the renewable energy industry meaning that consumer electronics are directly competing for the raw materials.


Energy consumption

The energy consumption of consumer electronics and their environmental impact, either from their production processes or the disposal of the devices, is increasing steadily. Energy Information Administration, EIA estimates that electronic devices and gadgets account for about 10%–15% of the energy use in American homes – largely because of their number; the average house has dozens of electronic devices. The energy consumption of consumer electronics increases – in America and Europe – to about 50% of household consumption, if the term is redefined to include home appliances such as
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refrigerators
, Clothes dryer, dryers, Washing machines, clothes washers and dishwashers.


Standby power

Standby power – used by consumer electronics and appliances while they are turned off – accounts for 5–10% of total household energy consumption, costing $100 annually to the average household in the United States. A study by United States Department of Energy's Berkeley Lab found that a videocassette recorders (VCRs) consume more electricity during the course of a year in standby mode than when they are used to record or playback videos. Similar findings were obtained concerning set-top box, satellite boxes, which consume almost the same amount of energy in "on" and "off" modes. A 2012 study in the United Kingdom, carried out by the Energy Saving Trust, found that the devices using the most power on standby mode included televisions, satellite boxes and other video and audio equipment. The study concluded that UK households could save up to £86 per year by switching devices off instead of using standby mode. A report from the International Energy Agency in 2014 found that $80 billion of power is wasted globally per year due to inefficiency of electronic devices. Consumers can reduce unwanted use of standby power by unplugging their devices, using power strips with switches, or by buying devices that are standardized for better energy management, particularly Energy Star marked products.


Electronic waste

A high number of different metals and low concentration rates in electronics means that recycling is limited and energy intensive. Electronic waste describes discarded electrical or electronic devices. Many consumer electronics may contain toxic minerals and elements, and many electronic scrap components, such as Cathode ray tube, CRTs, may contain contaminants such as lead, cadmium, beryllium, mercury (element), mercury, dioxins, or brominated flame retardants. Electronic waste recycling may involve significant risk to workers and communities and great care must be taken to avoid unsafe exposure in recycling operations and leaking of materials such as heavy metals from landfills and incinerator ashes. However, large amounts of the produced electronic waste from developed countries is exported, and handled by the informal sector in countries like India, despite the fact that exporting electronic waste to them is illegal. Strong informal sector can be a problem for the safe and clean recycling. Reuse and repair E-waste policy has gone through various incarnations since the 1970s, with emphases changing as the decades passed. More weight was gradually placed on the need to dispose of e-waste more carefully due to the toxic materials it may contain. There has also been recognition that various valuable metals and plastics from waste electrical equipment can be recycled for other uses. More recently the desirability of reusing whole appliances has been foregrounded in the 'preparation for reuse' guidelines. The policy focus is slowly moving towards a potential shift in attitudes to reuse and repair. With turnover of small household appliances high and costs relatively low, many consumers will throw unwanted electric goods in the normal dustbin, meaning that items of potentially high reuse or recycling value go to landfills. While larger items such as washing machines are usually collected, it has been estimated that the 160,000 tonnes of EEE in regular waste collections was worth £220 million. And 23% of EEE taken to Household Waste Recycling Centres was immediately resaleable – or would be with minor repairs or refurbishment. This indicates a lack of awareness among consumers as to where and how to dispose of EEE, and of the potential value of things that are literally going in the bin. For reuse and repair of electrical goods to increase substantially in the UK there are barriers that must be overcome. These include people's mistrust of used equipment in terms of whether it will be functional, safe, and the stigma for some of owning second-hand goods. But the benefits of reuse could allow lower income households access to previously unaffordable technology whilst helping the environment at the same time.


Health impact

Desktop monitors and laptops produce major physical health concerns for humans when bodies are forced into positions that are unhealthy and uncomfortable in order to see the screen better. From this, neck and back pains and problems increase, commonly referred to as repetitive strain injuries. Using electronics before going to bed makes it difficult for people to fall asleep, which has a negative effect on human health. Sleeping less prevents people from performing to their full potential physically and mentally and can also "increase rates of obesity and diabetes," which are "long-term health consequences". Obesity and diabetes are more commonly seen in students and in youth because they tend to be the ones using electronics the most. "People who frequently use their thumbs to type text messages on cell phones can develop a painful affliction called De Quervain syndrome that affects their tendons on their hands. The best known disease in this category is called carpal tunnel syndrome, which results from pressure on the median nerve in the wrist".


See also

* Digital electronics * Electronics industry * List of home appliances * Product teardown * Timeline of electrical and electronic engineering


References


Notes


Further reading

*


External links

{{Authority control Consumer electronics, Electronics industry