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Consumer electronics’ demand drives touch technology innovation


Touch technology is rapidly gaining popularity in a variety of market segments due to its ability to enhance the interaction between an individual and machines or devices. In particular, consumer electronics products, such as smartphones, tablets and laptops, are using this technology on a large scale.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Innovative Applications of Touch Technologies, finds that projected capacitance multi-touch technology interfaces are expected to be even more adopted widely by 2015. Capacitive touchscreens should find use in larger screens, such as those used in televisions and corporate board meeting rooms. Touch controllers will be more prevalent in larger screens for such applications as ATM kiosks and industrial monitors. Haptics as well as optical imaging touchscreen technology expect to make greater inroads in consumer electronics, driven by their ability to provide a more enriched and realistic user experience.

Haptics augment touchscreen technology, enabling individuals to perceive touch sensations when using electronic devices. Haptics can enable non-verbal communication between people and machines/devices using touch sensations. It is used, for example, to perform complex surgery with great accuracy and in gaming for an enhanced user experience.

In recent years, touch technology has progressed considerably in terms of integration into new products, innovative materials used, sensing and haptics technologies. Such developments include illuminative interactive multi-touch screens with motion sensing that allow user interaction through a floating panel on a large screen with a high level of clarity and screen resolution. There has also been development of innovative nanomaterials and roll-to-roll manufacturing for the creation of higher performing touch sensors and improved touchscreens/displays.

“Touch and gesture recognition, a prominent feature within touch technology, is finding opportunities in various industries, such as automotive, consumer electronics, and healthcare, as well as in appliances used for commercial and home automation purposes,” said Technical Insights Research Analyst Jithendranath Rabindranath. “The incorporation of haptics and optical imaging into consumer electronics is also gaining acceptance.”

However, there exist limitations in process efficiency and the high cost of integrating these new technologies in large area displays can slow down market potential. Ineffective system integration, which results in longer reaction times and can somewhat hamper overall user experience, poses another challenge. Difficulties in meeting the needs of a variety of applications further hinder development.

Advancements in manufacturing techniques will be vital to improve economies of scale and lower costs. It will also encourage vendors to integrate new technologies to large-area displays and improve their performance benefits.

“A number of start-ups and research institutes are carrying out extensive research in this field with investments from venture capitalists,” noted Rabindranath. “Original equipment manufacturers are also assigning more importance to their R&D activities, including designing software for increasing human machine interaction.”

Innovative Applications of Touch Technologies, a part of the Technical Insights subscription, covers the key technology trends in the touch technology based on nine different dimensions: year of impact, market potential, global footprint, IP activity, funding, breadth of industries, impact on megatrend, and potential points of convergence. This research service analyzes the technology and market trends enabling innovations in touch technology and opportunities rendered by the technology in diverse markets.

Technical Insights is an international technology analysis business that produces a variety of technical news alerts, newsletters, and research services.