The VC gave $100M more to start-ups developing MEMS-based solutions than those entering the Nanotechnology industry
The Bourne Report is a valuable resource for anyone interested in the commercialization efforts and market impact of MEMS devices, Nanotechnology-based solutions and other next-generation technologies. It is unmatched in its ability to distill the information decision-makers need most into timely, useful, credible analysis.
“At this point, it appears that handset manufacturers are still not convinced that MEMS sensors are worth spending the money necessary to create the device drivers needed, mostly because there's uncertainty about whether consumers will like MEMS-enabled features enough to pay more for them”
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The 2006 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is a virtual playground of the latest and greatest gadgets. This report notes the trends observed at CES and looks at products found at the show that utilized both MEMS and Nanotechnology. The report also takes a look back at 2005, noting the five coolest products that made it to market, as well as analyzing venture capital funding and acquisitions. In fact, in 2005, start-ups developing MEMS-based solutions received $100 M more from VCs than start-ups involved with Nanotechnology. From a market perspective, wireless sensing and smart homes/home connectivity solutions continue to move forward, both cell phones and Portable Media Players (PMP) are gearing up for TV on-the-go, and a promising segment is emerging in commercial aviation. Other news of note includes novel medical diagnostics, new image sensing/vision technologies, and more.
Cell phones have long been targeted as a major end-use application for MEMS (MicroElectroMechanical Systems) sensors, and accelerometers in particular, but widespread integration hinges on the development of device drivers, not the sensors themselves. The market research firm reports that MEMS suppliers have had it relatively easy selling sensors into markets such as automotive (the mainstay of the industry to date), since those customers typically write their own code for device drivers. However, consumer electronics is turning out to be an entirely different ballgame.
"At this point, it appears that handset manufacturers are still not convinced that MEMS sensors are worth spending the money necessary to create the device drivers needed, mostly because there's uncertainty about whether consumers will like MEMS-enabled features enough to pay more for them," says Marlene Bourne, Principal Analyst. "As a result, these manufactures currently expect a total solution, one which MEMS sensor suppliers are unable to provide, nor can they do so on their own. Partnerships will be required, but those have their own issues."
We reported that the need for device drivers provides an opportunity for those who specialize in embedded software development; however, partnerships with MEMS suppliers may be difficult to put into place - for both start-ups and large semiconductor players alike. Given the potential system-wide impact of MEMS sensors, and the number of device drivers required to accommodate all of the possible functions, it's a tough challenge; and there's a lot at stake for MEMS suppliers - integrating sensors into just ten percent of all mobile phones shipped annually would be a major coup for the industry. We have identified two approaches that may very well be the best solution for all parties involved.
Issues affecting the integration of MEMS sensors into cell phones, and potential solutions, are one of many topics covered in The Bourne Report, is a unique new series of market research reports. The Bourne Report offers the most insightful business intelligence available on the emerging technology marketplace, with a focus on MEMS and Nanotechnology.
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For more information visit http://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/c34588