Driven by the global boom in consumer electronics, notably cellphones and tablet computers, the market for haptics – which provide a tactile response to enhance user experience – will soar over 16-fold to $13.8 billion in 2025, according to Lux Research.
The consumer electronics segment, which in 2012 comprised nearly all of the $842 million haptics market, alone will balloon to $12.3 billion, 89% of the total market, as OEMs look to enhance touchscreen devices. Smaller opportunities will emerge in sectors such as automotive, fitness and medical as a variety of touch technologies are added to enhance user experience.
“An emerging wave of haptics offers the potential for a more intuitive and information-rich touch experience than today’s simple whole-device vibration,” said Anthony Vicari, Lux Research Associate and the lead author of the report titled, “Getting Back in Touch with Electronics: Finding Opportunity in Emerging Haptics.”
Lux Research analysts evaluated the haptic feedback technologies driving the proliferation of touch-enabled devices and their emerging applications. Among their findings:
- Piezoelectric actuator is the emerging technology of choice. Engineered to produce finely controlled vibrations across a broad range of frequencies, the piezoelectric actuator is poised to replace incumbent linear resonant actuators (LRAs) and eccentric rotating mass (ERM) to generate $9.2 billion in sales in 2025.
- Public interfaces form second-largest market. Public shared interfaces such as ATMs, information kiosks, touch-enabled vending machines, office copiers and even voting machines will form the second largest market worth $1.3 billion, behind consumer electronics.
- Surface coverage haptics will zoom after 2016. Surface coverage haptics like electroactive polymers, electrostatics, and microfluidics, offer a richer user experience by varying the touch sensation across the surface of the device. They have yet to be used in a commercial device, but will arrive in 2016 and then score quick gains, growing to a $4.5 billion market in 2025.
The report, titled “Getting Back in Touch with Electronics: Finding Opportunity in Emerging Haptics,” is part of the Lux Research Printed, Flexible, and Organic Electronics Intelligence service.