ARLINGTON, VA -- The US consumer technology industry will reach a record-breaking $351 billion in retail revenue, according to new research from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).
This will be a 3.9% increase over 2017.
The growth in projected revenue is due in part to consumer excitement about emerging technologies like smart speakers, smart home devices, virtual reality (VR), drones and wearables. Here’s how these categories are projected to perform in 2018:
Smart speakers: Coming off of a tremendous 2017 holiday season, voice controlled smart speakers including Amazon Echo and Google Home are going gangbusters. Unit sales increased 279% in 2017, and CTA projects 2018 unit sales will reach 43.6 units (60% increase) and earn $3.8 billion in revenue (93% growth).
Smart home: The popularity of smart speakers will have a ripple effect on the smart home market, as consumers discover the benefits of voice-activated home automation. CTA expects sales in the category – including smart thermostats, smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, IP/Wi-Fi cameras, smart locks and doorbells, smart home systems, and smart switches, dimmers and outlets – to reach 40.8 million units in 2018 (41% increase over 2017), earning $4.5 billion (34% increase).
VR: Popularity among gamers and an increasingly competitive market continue to drive growth for VR/AR headsets and eyewear, with unit shipments projected to grow to 4.9 million units (25% increase) and $1.2 billion in revenues (18% increase).
Drones: Total drone sales are expected to reach record highs of 3.7 million units (20% increase) and $1.2 billion in revenue (17%increase).
Wearables: The total health, fitness and sports tech market – including fitness activity trackers, other health and fitness devices, hearables, over-the-counter hearing devices, smartwatches and, for the first time, sports tech (such as a smart basketballs or baseball bats) – is expected to reach sales of 49.3 million units in 2017 (4% increase) and earn $6.4 billion (1% increase).