By Chuck Martin
It appears the tremendous growth of The Internet of Things is driving the consumer technology industry to record-setting growth.
Consumer technology retail revenue is slated to hit $287 billion this year, according to new figures from the Consumer Technology Association, which released the figures on the eve of CES International, which the CTA runs each year in Las Vegas.
Shawn DuBravac, chief economist and senior director of research at the Consumer Technology Association, which recently renamed itself from the Consumer Electronics Association, detailed the projections in a pre-CES briefing.
The report, U.S. Consumer Technology Sales and Forecast, is published twice a year and reports U.S. factory sales to dealers and covers more than 300 tech products.
Here’s how the picture looks, according to the CTA:
- Smart Homes – This year, 9 million units will be sold. The category comprises smart thermostats, smart smoke and CO2 detectors, Wi-Fi cameras, smart locks, smart home systems and smart switches, dimmers and outlets. This will be an increase of 21% from last year and will come with $1.2 billion in revenue.
- Wearables – This year, 38 million wearables devices will be sold, an increase of 22% from a year ago. Fitness trackers will hit 17 million units sold, a 12% increase from last year with revenue of $1.2 billion. Smartwatch sales will increase 28% to 14 million units, representing $3.7 billion in revenue, 22% higher than a year ago.
- Drones — Sales of drones should reach a million units this year, a 145% increase from last year. However, when adding lighter drones that don’t require FAA registration, the total forecast goes to $3 million, with revenue of $953 million.
- Televisions – With many of them being smart, TVs will bring in $19 billion in revenue, with the newer generation 4K ultra high definition devices steadily increasing. Smart TVs are projected to sell 27 million units in 2016, a 13 percent increase over 2015, and streaming media players will sell 16 million units, up 5%.
- Virtual Reality (VR) — With several notable VR headsets being introduced, unit sales are projected to increase by 500% over last year, to reach just over a million units. AR revenue will hit $540 million.
- Smartphones – Still the dominant connected device, smartphone shipments are projected to reach 183 million this year, up 5% from 2015. Smartphone revenues will reach $55 billion in 2016, a 4% increase from last year.
For The Internet of Things, the train has left the station. Over the next few days, activity here at CES is likely to provide a view on just how fast it is moving.