Gestural Recognition: A $3.5 Billion Opportunity for Sensor Industry in 2019 According to New NanoMarkets Report
Published: September 29, 2014 Category: Emerging Electronics

Glen Allen, Virginia:  Gesture recognition will gradually replace today’s multifunctional touch screens with the result that the market for sensors and related components used in gestural control systems will grow from $770 million in 2014 to about $3.5 billion in 2019.  This according to a just-released report from NanoMarkets, “Gestural Recognition: Sensors, Cameras and Other Technology Opportunities—2014.” The report also predicts that “gesturing” will find its way into a wide variety of new applications, from factory automation to smart phones and the “home of the future.”  The report notes that the growing role of gestural recognition has been recognized in recent acquisitions by Intel, Apple and Fairchild in the gestural space.

For further details on the report see:

About the Report

This report examines the components and subsystems markets for gestural recognition over the next eight years in ten applications: gaming and virtual reality, smart phones, tablet, laptops, AiOs and monitors, TVs, automotive, healthcare/medical, smart homes and general industrial.

The components covered comprise the full range of sensors used in gestural recognition (bend, proximity, IMU, 2D image, 3D image, time-of-flight and E-field).  In the case of image sensors, we have also examined how the related camera technology will evolve.  Also analyzed in this report are markets for ultrasonic transducers and microphones used in gestural recognition, as well as associated microcontrollers.

Eight-year forecasts in revenue and volume terms are included for all these components with separate breakouts by each application listed above.  The report also discusses the strategies of the firms involved in supplying components and subsystems used in gestural recognition over the next decade. Companies discussed in this report include Analog Devices, Apple, ARM, ASUS, Audience, Bosch, Chirp, Control VR, Creative Labs, CyberGlove, Cyberith, Cypress, Delphi Automotive, Deutsche Telekom, Disney, DriftCoast, Elliptic, Espros, EyeSight, Freescale, GestSure, GestureTek, Google, Hillcrest, HP, Infineon, Intel, Invensense, Lenovo, LG, Melexis, Microchip Technology, Microsoft, Nintendo, OMRON, Philips, pmd, PointGrab, Quantum Interface, Samsung, Silicon Labs, Sixense, SofKinetic, Sony, STMicroelectronics, Telekom Innovation, Tactical Haptics, Thalmic Labs, Tobii, TriLumina, Virtual Realities, Wolfson, and Xsens.

From the Report

The commoditization of touch interfaces will cause OEMs to deploy gestural recognition as a novel interface for smartphones and tablets.   Initially, this will use components that already exist in phones, but gradually additional components specifically for gestural control will be added.  More expensive cameras and associated sensors, as well as ultrasonic and e-field options for smart phones/tablet are further out.   By 2019, the value of these components for smartphones/tablets will have reached $1.2 billion.

Another new application for gestural control is smart TVs. Samsung and LG are marketing remotes with embedded gesture control. Originally this meant just being able to wave the remote to move a cursor on the screen.  However, the latest LG “Magic Remote” allows users to choose a channel by drawing numbers in the air.  As gestural recognition remotes become common, NanoMarkets thinks this application will generate demand for 3D cameras and eventually time-of-flight (ToF) cameras. TVs, with their focus on high-quality images, are unlikely to make use of low-end 2D cameras. The market for sensors and related devices for gestural control in smart TVs will reach $1.18 billion by 2019.  By the end of the forecast period a sizeable fraction of smart TVs will be controlled by the hands and fingers alone, without a remote control.

In fact, many of the latest applications for gestural recognition will be enabled by the advent of cameras using 3D image sensors, which can detect image and depth information at the same time.  This is a compelling technology for the consumer electronics market; it can provide more precise gesture recognition than 2D image sensors at a reasonable cost.  By 2019, NanoMarkets projects revenues from 3D image sensors to reach $930 million.

Nonetheless, ToF cameras could be the next big thing in gesture recognition. ToF promises ultra fast response times and this will be very effective for accurately detecting much more subtle hand and finger gestures than is possible with stereo cameras. ToF also has no problem with latency, which can cause noticeable delays in image recognition in other systems. ToF also works well in poorly lit environments, which can be an important advantage. ToF sensors generate almost no revenues today, but by 2019 NanoMarkets expects that $550 million in ToF sensors will be bought for gestural recognition systems

About NanoMarkets:

NanoMarkets tracks and analyzes emerging markets in energy, electronics and other areas created by developments in advanced materials. The firm is a recognized leader in industry analysis and forecasts of sensor markets.

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Robert Nolan
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