Consumer Electronics: From Novelty to Necessity

Consumer Electronics: From Novelty to Necessity

13th Jun, 2024

Consumer electronics is one of the essential components of daily life usage. Electronic technologies have transformed our lives from basic lifestyles to modern living styles in a short span of time. The first device related to consumer electronics was the radio, invented around 1920 and started live broadcasting at their homes. Soon after, radios and the invention of television revolutionized the home environment in many ways and increased the demand for consumer electronics. As time passes, more invention takes place, and more gadgets/devices are available with time. 

Later, by the 1970s, the market shifted towards personal computers by the innovation of Apple II and IBM PCs. The innovation increases the capability of individual users and small-scale businesses. Even though it was not affordable to everyone then, it was considered a digital revolution in modern technology in the early 2000s. Apple’s invention of the iPod revolutionized music and innovation of the iPhone in the year 2007, a single-handed device with many functions, setting up a new landmark in the modern era. 

I. The Integration of Connectivity: Smartphones and Beyond

The introduction of smartphones in the market and to society revolutionized the era of consumer electronics.  Due to low cost and multiple tasking devices fulfill the needs of the common man, and smartphones also have many features like internet access, smart cameras, and better connectivity.  Devices such as iPhones and Android platform-based smartphones are leading the market for consumer electronics applications. Smartphones offer a more versatile, challenging interface and are easily accessible for gaming and browsing.  It also interfaces with laptops/tablets for data transfer and hence can handle many devices simultaneously. This is possible due to the success of internet connectivity at remote. 

II. The Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a recent technology based on the connection of many smart devices through the Internet. Using this technology, we can connect many everyday objects to the internet and receive and transfer data through IOT-based devices. Hence, it also increases the need for smart home devices, and nowadays, it is one of the technologies integrated into our daily life activities. Some smart home devices are thermostats (Nest) and voice assistants such as Alexa and Google Assistant, which enhance efficiency as well as convenience. Consumer electronics devices can be remotely controlled, and the home can be managed by advances in technology with any personal assistance. The NorthCap University is running a UG level course in this area, and research also going on IoT based devices.

III. Wearable Technology and Health Monitoring

Recently, the number of consumer electronics based on wearable devices has increased rapidly due to devices like smartwatches and fitness trackers, which provide real-time data on physical activities. The rise of wearable technology has shown promise applications in health care, such as monitoring of heartbeats and sleep patterns, and many more applications in this area. It helps society and decreases long queues for health checks. The companies like Fitbit, Apple, and Garmin captured the market for manufacturing devices related to wearables. These wearable devices have advanced features also such as ECG monitoring, oxygen monitoring in blood, etc. In the near Future, using IOT and smart devices, we can manage health care as well as home management through the clock regularly. 

IV. Sustainability in Consumer Electronics

With the rapid growth of consumer electronics products, there is an environment issue with using these technologies. One of the major issues is electronic waste(e-waste), which is generated in tons annually. This is also another source of environment pollution. Even some companies like Fairphones are trying to manufacture modular phones that can be easily repairable and upgradable. It reduces the need for frequent replacement and increases the possibility of recycled materials. Another major area for devices used for consumer electronics is energy efficiency. It is necessary to design devices that consume less power. Innovations in battery technology are leading to longer-life usage and more environmentally sustainable solutions, which hence save more energy and are highly efficient. 

V. Future Trends in Consumer Electronics

Nowadays, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are necessary to develop more intuitive and smart devices. The technologies help in making advanced devices used for home automation systems. Based on personal experience, we can design the automation system using AI and ML-based techniques. Nowadays, universities like The NorthCap University in India are working on these technologies.

Other attractive technologies are AR and VR technologies. These technologies revolutionize education, entertainment, and professional training in a very easy manner, helping people better understand the real world with digital overlays used for consumer electronics. There is a significant increase in the possibility of interactive and experiential applications using AR and VR-based technologies.  In recent eras, the involvement of 5G technology has increased in society, and it is expected to increase the significant enhancement in connectivity. The data transmission speed increases with lower latency using 5G technologies, leading to advancement in the automation of vehicles, smart cities, and IoT-based applications for better outcomes of consumer electronics. The next generation of wireless technology increases the capabilities of consumer electronics to unpredictable levels.


Nowadays, consumer electronics have moved from a basic level to the next advanced level and become essential components of modern life. There is continuous growth in the capabilities of consumer electronics from the era of radio and television to smartphones and wearable devices. Also, involvement in technology such as 5G, IoT, AR, VR, and AI & ML with better interfaces with electronic gadgets further revolutionize a landmark level of consumer electronics.  The continuous growth of consumer electronics with better involvement of advanced technologies leads to new innovations and opportunities. The continuous growth in consumer electronics is shaping our lives and interactions with the real world in a very easy way.

Authored By

Assistant Professor (Sr.Scale)
Department of Applied Science
The NorthCap University Gurugram.
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