Hey Hardware Geeks: Best Buy CTO Envisions Arduino Section and More Accessories for your Smartphone and Tablets

[ Robert Stephens, Best Buy CTO, (left) and Marko Gargenta, Android Open program chair, (right) talk about the future of Best Buy at the Android Open Conference in San Francisco. ]Arduino -- open-source electronics prototyping hardware that you can only buy at speciality electronic shops -- might be coming to a Best Buy near you. Robert Stephens, Best Buy CTO and founder of Geek Squad, told the audience at the Android Open conference in San Francisco today that he can foresee a future where each store has an Arduino section instead of DVDs and everything Best Buy sells is an accessory for your mobile device.

Also noteworthy: Stephens thinks health and fitness apps and accessories will have their own section. BestBuy is already on this path, as it will stock the new $99 Zeo headband, a sleep-management device for consumers, later this month and also invested in Zeo [ see our Zeo profile. ]

"It is no surprise that Best Buy is investing heavily in this category," Jason Jacobs, Runkeeper CEO tells LAUNCH via email. "We see their continued interest in health sensors as validation that the category is finally starting to get mass-market attention. While the sensor ecosystem has a long way to go, it has come a long way in the last few years and will come even further in the next few."

Runkeeper has already started partnering with some other devices Best Buy plans to sell like Withings and Fitbit, Jacobs adds.

LAUNCH has contacted Zeo CTO Ben Rubin for comment on Stephens' statements.

Stephens said that even Best Buy CEO Brian J. Dunn admits that while most stores have more than 34 different cordless phone options, they need to find something to replace their outdated chunks of inventory.

Among the Arduino-based items we love are the Pulse Sensor, which measure blood pressure from your finger, and this handy email-counting t-shirt.


Robert Stephens
Twitter: @rstephens  
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/rstephens
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/115839703624312555159

Website: http://runkeeper.com/
Blog: http://blog.runkeeper.com/
Twitter: @runkeeper  

Jason Jacobs, founder RunKeeper
Twitter: @jjacobs22   
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/jason-jacobs/0/449/171

Website: http://www.myzeo.com/sleep/
Blog: http://blog.myzeo.com/
Twitter: @myzeosleep  

Ben Rubin, co-founder ZEO
Twitter: @bsrubin  
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/bsrubin