Best Buy has created a dedicated website for digital health and wellness products.

Additional tech categories to consider this season

 By Stephen Paczkowski, Expert Warehouse

At Expert Warehouse, we are always monitoring trends outside our core TV and audio categories to capture ways to help our members grow, even if it doesn’t benefit our bottom line.

While all manner of speakers, soundbars, cables, power management systems, mounts and TVs big and small are making their way from EW to your stores and, ultimately, your customers’ hearts this time of year, there are myriad other tech products that are ramping up beyond A/V.  

One such category is health and fitness, as reflected in some of Samsung’s keen new TV tech. The company’s 2023 models with optional cameras made a big splash with their Samsung Health Monitor and Telehealth Mode at launch this year. TVs with these features can monitor key vital signs using remote photoplethysmography (today’s Scrabble word) — an AI-assisted tech that scans differences in facial skin that heart movements cause.  You can also connect to a physician by listing symptoms, time of experiencing them, and conduct an over-TV exam using the cam and other devices you may have handy, like a smart watch or blood pressure monitor.

All this is coming to the mass market now because of the growth in popularity of devices and/or apps that perform this or similar services. Deloitte says one in three adults track certain health or fitness goals through their phone, and the stats are similar with wrist-based tools like Fitbit, although there are even smart rings now that perform the same type of monitoring. Even more surprising is that as people age, the participation numbers rise. Global revenue for smartwatches is expected to increase 37% by 2027 to over $60 billion a year. We will be watching this space closely over the coming months. (See what I did there?)

Another explosive growth category is microphones, driven by the “influencer” and gaming markets.  Creators interested in having higher quality content first need to have a good base, which anyone familiar with music or production can tell you begins with the hardware.  The mic market will grow to $3.5 million by 2028, per Research and Markets.  These can get pricey too, and can have lights to match a gaming rig or multiple mic modes (like “ribbon” or “condenser” patterns) for multiple speakers/singers or directions.  Of course, USB and XLR connections are essential for mixing to various systems for video sync.  And, for those more comfortable with hardware than software, there are also video and audio mixing decks that make editing much easier.

A third opportunity is VR (virtual reality) gaming.  Whether augmented, virtual or extended, these platforms will entirely change game play and perhaps even the way we work. Fortune Business Insights expects the VR industry to explode, growing 50% to over a $1 billion by 2030.  Apple has even found a way to integrate its Vision Pro headset into its entire ecosystem, a first for the industry.  Many showrooms are reinventing themselves to present these items through guided demonstrations, for a fun introduction to the technology. 

Have you considered adding VR, health wearables, or microphones to your tech offerings? Even just knowing about the M series OLED or the Samsung Health Monitor options can mean the difference between a good sale and a great one.  Make sure your teams are using the BrandSource, ProSource, LG, and Samsung field teams at this critical time of the year. Happy holidays!

Meanwhile, here’s what has caught EW’s attention on the content side:

“Ahsoka” (Disney+):  Neatly tying together the animated and live-action series on D+, this show could possibly connect the next film series as well.

Royal Blood, “Back to the Water Below”:   A two-piece band that sounds like a five-piece rock band most akin to Muse. Check out “Mountains at Midnight” or 2021’s “Typhoons.”

Norma Jean, “Sword in Mouth, Fire Eyes”: Just the song. The chorus is a banger. Strong end to a strong article, if I do say so myself!

Stephen Paczkowski is a product manager at Expert Warehouse, the consumer tech distribution arm of YSN publisher AVB BrandSource.

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