Consumer electronics have come a long way since IBM — a founding member of OIN — introduced the world’s 1st smart phone in 1992. Fueled by 5G, sensors, Machine Learning (ML), Artificial Intelligence (AI), facial recognition, Virtual Reality (VR) and Blockchain, society has seen incredible technological and innovative products hit the marketplace over the past decade. Today, we have “smart” everything — from home appliances, wearables, robots and TVs to medical devices and cars. Consumer-centric apps, Operating Systems (OS) and consumer electronics — such as Netflix, Mac OS, NetApp, Nintendo Switch, Panasonic TVs, PlayStation 4, Trivago, and Facebook-owned What’s App — have even been identified as the “Top 8 Products Built on Open Source,” according to Design News.
According to Statista, economists predict there will be 15.9 billion connected devices worldwide by 2030 and the global electronic products market is estimated to reach more than $1.2 trillion U.S. dollars in 2022. Smartphones are expected to remain the dominant consumer electronics product type and Asia Pacific will continue to be the leading region from 2022 to 2031. In other words, the future is bright for consumer electronics and Open Source Software (OSS) is driving new innovations that continue changing the world as we know it.
Market growth stems from many things — soaring Internet accessibility, increasing worldwide consumer demand for electronics in daily life and an increasing worldwide middle-class population. Growing awareness about the benefits of electronic devices will be a key factor strongly supporting the market growth. Rising popularity of the connected homes concept is likely to push the demand for “smart” home devices such as appliances, HVAC systems and intelligent security systems will especially gain traction within the next few years.
As a result, there is a need for more choices in hardware features, software applications and innovative User Interfaces (UI). To meet these needs — as well as the digital technology changes in embedded components — such as System-on-Chips (SoC) processors — industry manufacturers are turning to OSS and hardware platforms that allow collaboration and foster faster innovation. Developers are also contributing to the greater Open Source community which generates new relationships leading to increased knowledge, new opportunities and ultimately more efficiency to create innovative consumer products — including 8K TVs, electronic gadgets, autonomous driving vehicles, robots and personalized medical devices, to name a few. All of these rely heavily on Open Source.