Emerging haptics make inroads
Haptics is any form of interaction involving touch, and haptics are making an increasing inroad in manufacturing products, this in line with electronic products delivering the basis
Haptics are an essential feature of the UX platform in many electronic products today. Whether as notification provision in a vibrating smartphone, tension building in a video game controller, or input confirmation in an industrial scanner, this billion dollar industry is something that most people will experience every single day. The new IDTechEx Research report Haptics 2016-2026: Technologies, Markets, Players covers all of the key haptics technologies and players across the ecosystem. With full details on how each technology works, who the main players are, key case studies, interviews and company profiles throughout, and full market forecasts from 2015 to 2026, this report provides the most comprehensive description of the haptics industry available.
Cheap, reliable and largely adequate, eccentric rotating mass (ERM) motors are supplied in huge volumes from China, and dominate the marketplace. However, the diversity of alternative technologies that are available to the end users is growing, and now includes everything from linear resonant actuators (LRAs) and voice coils to piezoelectric polymeric films and microfluidic display overlays. The report details, if, how, where and whys around the disruption, these new options will cause to this mature industry.
The report concludes that the market as a whole will grow at a steady 7.2 % to 2026, reaching a total size of USD 2.3 billion. However, it is the emerging sector, starting small in comparison but growing at 30.2 % CAGR to over USD 500 million in the next decade where the most potential lies. The largest players are already backing new haptics with both financial support and product reputations, typified by Apple’s announcement of their custom LRA, the Taptic module.
There is great diversity amongst the emerging options available. The report contains full benchmarking tables, comparing each technology like-for-like across a series of key parameters. This is then matched to specific application areas. This is of particular interest with many of the new features being offered. Whether it be the ability to modulate frequency, give spatial signal variation, or have mechanical robustness, many of these new options can be linked to very compelling potential use cases which developers are already beginning to investigate at length.
Understanding the player ecosystem is key to this industry. Very fast growth and rapid commoditisation of certain actuator types, coupled to higher and higher standards being set by the OEMs has led to a graveyard of former leaders in this space. As production moved to China and attempts to differentiate failed to stick, competing for the biggest prizes like the mobile phone sector has been extremely tough, and often fatal. However, as the longer term development projects in niche applications begin to surface, new haptics will begin to find market share, driving long term growth. The report contains over 20 separate company profiles, interviews and case studies covering the entire industry and value chain, conducted directly by the analyst team at IDTechEx Research.
Haptics technology options: The most common of these technologies is the eccentric rotating mass (ERM) motor. Cheap, robust and very effective, this solution dominates the marketplace. However, technology development into newer forms of haptics with new and improved performance capabilities has been extensive, especially in the last decade. From more logical progressions such as the use of voice coils, or linear resonant actuators, into ceramic or newer polymeric piezoelectric options, right through to drastically different techniques using microfluidics, ultrasound, or electrostatics, the ecosystem of available technology is now extremely diverse.
Identifying the best application sectors: As the largest sector by some way, applications in consumer electronics, and particularly implementation in mobile phones, has been the area of greatest interest and investment. However, it is niche areas where haptics has been gaining sustainable momentum. The wearable technology space is one of great interest, where user experiences still require extensive improvement, and consistent skin contact puts haptics in an excellent position to be a part of this. In automotive, many of the largest manufacturers and tier 1 suppliers have dedicated haptics teams, working on ways to improve user sensation for increasingly electrified vehicle interior consoles. Finally, work in the medical space has shown how integrating different types of haptics can accelerate the education process for tactile procedures.
Read more in the commercially available report “Haptics 2016-2026: Technologies, Markets, Players” is the best resource available to gain a detailed understanding of the haptics industry. It describes all of the technology options available on the market today, benchmarking their performance against each other. It outlines the opportunities in this industry, both by detailing the unmet needs of end-users and the limitations of current technology, and via market forecasts. Finally, it characterises all of the key players, with 1-to-1 interviews and case studies throughout.