The research study by Technavio on the global haptics market for 2017-2021 provides a detailed industry analysis based on the applications (smartphones, wearables, gaming consoles, and tablets), components (actuators, drivers and controllers, and software and technology), and geography (APAC, Europe, and America).
The global haptics market is monopolized by Immersion in terms of technology provider, which accounts for more than 90% of the market. The company generates revenue through licensing its patented solutions to mobile device original equipment manufacturers. Apple is another emerging vendor in the market, with its in-house haptics technology product lines such as MacBooks and iPhone 6s. The introduction of haptics by Apple in its mobile-computing devices accelerated the demand for this technology among consumer device manufacturers.
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Technavio analysts highlight the following three factors that are contributing to the growth of the global haptics market:
- Introduction of ultrasonic haptics technology
- Adoption of HD haptics
- Demand for interactive sensory experience
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Introduction of ultrasonic haptics technology
“Ultrasonic haptics technology is an advanced form of haptics technology that enables users to touch and feel virtual objects and receive tactile feedback. Developers of the ultrasonic haptics system can deliver various haptics feedback and virtually tactile shapes via ultrasonic waves by pulsing the feedback,” explains Raghu Raj Singh, a lead analyst at Technavio for human machine interface research.
The ultrasonic haptics technology was developed by Ultrahaptics and was awarded its patent recently. This technology has found wide scope in the consumer electronics and healthcare sectors. Also, the haptics technology can be used in automobiles to improve safety by eliminating driver distraction. In fact, the company is currently working on a project with Jaguar Land Rover, which involves implementing ultrasonic haptics technology for infotainment human machine interface (HMI).
Adoption of HD haptics
The haptics technology is being incorporated in cell phones for several years, with the most basic form of haptics being the vibration of cell phone indicating an incoming call or message. A few cell phones included tactile feedback beyond vibration alerts such as the tactile feedback received by the user while messaging or typing an email. However, with advances in technology, OEMs and software application developers are moving forward to use haptics technology in mobile devices beyond basic touch feedback.
Manufacturers are integrating multiple sensory inputs in their mobile devices to create an intuitive experience for their users and software developers are developing a next-generation tactile-based application that can be run on those devices. Implementation of HD haptics provides not only highly satisfactory and intuitive experience but also solves general problems of users in day-to-day life.
Demand for interactive sensory experience
“Modern consumers demand multisensory interaction with their mobile devices. To provide a natural sense of touch to human-computer interaction, the mobile device manufacturers are adopting advanced actuator and sensors in their devices. The presence of several actuators enhances the user experience by creating vibrations synchronized with touch,” says Raghu.
For instance, when a person tries to text or dial or swipe the screen, the strength of vibration generated offers more real feedback than simple visual confirmation of the task being recorded successfully. This technology becomes more exciting for consumers using mobile devices for playing video games because while playing games, such as racing cars or playing guitars, the user has the impression of holding the car or guitar strings.
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