A crowd of shoppers in the flatscreen TV section of the
consumer electronics store
Consumer electronics or home electronics are
digital) equipments intended for everyday use, typically in private homes. Consumer electronics include devices used for
remote control cars, etc.),
laptops, etc.), and
home-office activities (e.g.,
paper shredders, etc.). In British English, they are often called brown goods by producers and sellers, to distinguish them from "
white goods" which are meant for
housekeeping tasks, such as
washing machines and
[n 1] In the 2010s, this distinction is not always present in large
big box consumer electronics stores, such as
Best Buy, which sell both entertainment, communication, and home office devices and kitchen appliances such as refrigerators.
Radio broadcasting in the early 20th century brought the first major consumer product, the
broadcast receiver. Later products included
calculators, then audio and video recorders and players,
personal computers and
MP3 players. In the 2010s, consumer electronics stores often sell
automotive electronics (
video game consoles,
electronic musical instruments (e.g.,
digital cameras, and video players (
VCRs in the 1980s and 1990s, followed by
DVD players and
Blu-ray disc players). Stores also sell
cell phones, and
smartphones. As of 2016, some of the newer products sold include
head-mounted display goggles,
smart home devices that
connect home devices to the Internet (such as smartphone-controllable thermostats and lights) and
wearable technology such as
Fitbit digital exercise watches.
In the 2010s, most consumer electronics have become based on digital technologies, and have largely merged with the
computer industry in what is increasingly referred to as the
information technology. Some consumer electronics stores, such as
Best Buy, have also begun selling office and baby furniture. Consumer electronics stores may be "
bricks and mortar" physical retail stores, online stores, where the consumer chooses items on a website and pays online (e.g., Amazon). or a combination of both models (e.g., Best Buy has both bricks and mortar stores and an
e-commerce website for ordering its products). The CEA (
Consumer Electronics Association) estimated the value of 2015 consumer electronics sales at US$220 billion.