The electronics industry, especially meaning consumer electronics, emerged in the 20th century and has now become a global industry worth billions of dollars. Contemporary society uses all manner of electronic devices built in automated or semi-automated factories operated by the industry. Products are assembled from integrated circuits, principally by photolithography of printed circuit boards.
The size of the industry and the use of toxic materials, as well as the difficulty of recycling has led to a series of problems with electronic waste. International regulation and environmental legislation has been developed in an attempt to address the issues.
Consumer electronics or home electronics are electronic or digital equipment intended for everyday use, typically in private homes. Consumer electronics include devices used for entertainment (flatscreen TVs, DVD players, DVD movies, iPods, video games, remote control cars, etc.), communications (telephones, cell phones, e-mail-capable laptops, etc.), and home-office activities (e.g., desktop computers, printers, paper shredders, etc.). In British English, they are often called brown goods by producers and sellers, to distinguish them from “white goods” such as washing machines and refrigerators. In the 2010s, this distinction is not always present in large big box consumer electronics stores, such as Best Buy, which sell both entertainment, communications, and home office devices and kitchen appliances such as refrigerators. Consumer electronics stores differ from professional audio stores in that the former sells consumer-grade electronics for private use, whereas the latter sells professional-grade electronics designed for use by audio engineers and audio technicians.
HULSEY PC attorneys and patent agents have extensive experience in a wide variety of electronics devices and system processes, including computer graphics chips, optical disc platforms, digital cameras, computer communication devices, interactive television technology, electronic musical instruments, robotic assembler devices and systems, electronic circuit boards, computerized measurement devices and software.