We’ve heard the trends, predictions and insights about consumer electronics a million times. Devices will become more specialized. The newly released iPhone has revolutionary features. IoT is everywhere. The list goes on.
But what about the accessories that accompany these products? Certainly there’s something to be said about the evolution of these background players as we watch the tech industry grow. In fact, these items might not be in the background as much as we think; accessories are now covering some retailers’ operational costs altogether. People aren’t just grabbing an accessory alongside their device purchase anymore—they’re actually coming into the store specifically for these items.
So, where exactly are accessories headed? Here’s a little look into the future of add-on merchandise:
Tech Accessories Are Becoming Fashionable
Tech accessories aren’t just about function anymore. Now, consumers are looking for an accessory that will do the job and look the part. They want to purchase something that will fit their personal style, and they want options. The days are over where one or two designs are enough. People want variety to showcase their individuality and they want to be the first to sport the latest design. Take wearables for example. Not only are consumers buying these items to track their fitness or create another communication channel, but they’re also purchasing to complement their wardrobe.
Tech Accessories Are Getting Smarter
Bluetooth speakers are great; but you know what’s even better? A Bluetooth speaker that can also tell you the weather forecast, list your to-dos, call an Uber, or crack a joke. Devices like the Amazon Echo and the Sony Smart Bluetooth Speaker BSP60 are changing the world of tech accessories. Even headphones are smart now, not only playing music, but also monitoring heart rate, blood pressure, blood oxidation levels, and steps. Who needs a fitness tracker when you can wrap it all up in a pair of headphones you’d own anyway?
Tech Accessories Will Be Used Beyond Their Original Purpose
Speakers can serve as personal assistants and headphones can now be fitness trackers, but those aren’t the only devices that are transitioning to use in areas beyond their original purpose. Those action cameras that were originally intended for shooting extreme sports? Now they’re being used for everything from understanding pets to citizen journalism.
Tech Accessories Are Making Life Easier
Everyone wants to make their life just a little bit easier and, as you can see from the preceding examples, tech accessories are helping do just that. But there are even more accessories, like Apple’s Square, smartphone reading glasses, and smartphone notification tools, that are providing a little extra help to simplify tasks and smooth out processes. And they’re becoming multipurpose—like universal phone chargers that can be used with any device. Forget the stash of cords you’ve got stored in your glove box. You can now streamline charging with just one device.
Tech Accessories Won’t Just Be Add-Ons Anymore
Think about this: phone cases now make up a $1.3 billion industry. Sound crazy? Well, adding to their sales success is the fact that phone cases now double as other items that the consumer may need—such as personal toolkits, battery chargers, memory sticks, sound amplifiers and telephoto lenses. Cases can now also turn a phone into a waterproof camera, thermal imager, or even a stun gun. So, while these accessories might seem like little add-ons, they’re proving to be much more.
With increased functionality that can simplify, enhance, or entertain, the future of tech accessories is exciting. These gadgets, once seen as little add-ons, are proving they have the value to move to the top of many consumer wish lists.