Automation News

$1.8bn Market For Force Sensors In User Interfaces As They Move Beyond Touch

10 Jan , 2017  

A brand new report from James Hayward at IDTechEx Research studying the use of force sensors in user interfaces predicts that the market will reach $1.8bn annually by 2027.

Since the mobile era, touch screens have been at the core of our user interface with electronic devices. However, as the technology behind touch interfaces begins to saturate, many players now look beyond touch to the future of user interfaces. Whilst advanced solutions including voice and gesture detection, right through to perceptive computing are suggested, many suppliers are looking for the best ways to improve the existing platform. It is possible to literally add an additional dimension to touch interfaces by adding force sensing. This trend has been strongly visible from market leaders throughout 2015 and 2016.

While force sensors themselves are certainly nothing new – even their use within user interfaces dates back over 40 years where they were first used in musical instrument toys – with many high profile consumer electronics products now containing force sensing interfaces (most notably from Apple, in their smartwatch, laptop and smartphone products), this has quickly dominated the market. As such, the user interface landscape is undergoing a period of significant change, with force sensing as a prominent early step.

With activities of over 30 companies documented and compared, this report provides the most concise, relevant and thorough coverage of the trend towards force sensing in user interfaces. The report also provides a detailed discussion of each of the key technologies involved, including the basic principles, value chain implications (from materials through to product) and example players in each case. The report provides detailed market forecasts, starting from historic data for 2015, and forecasting through to 2027 by application/product type and by technology.

The report expects capacitive force sensing to remain dominant, with advantages over resistive options and immaturity in more emerging techniques such as piezoelectric polymers or dielectric elastomers allowing them to dominate the market.

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