The next wave in both touch and touch-less technology was the focus at the Society for Information Display Pacific Northwest Chapter meeting with guest speaker, Dr. Jennifer Colegrove, Principal Analyst at Touch Display Research. Top on her list of hot trends for 2015 were the smart home initiative (Google’s purchase of Nestlabs for $3.2B), quantum dots, flexible curved displays and 4k, all topics that seem to be claiming most of the headlines of late. Colegrove focused her talk on ITO replacement and non-touch technologies that included the top wish list from manufacturers in this area and a market forecast going into the next decade.
On that score, Colegrove’s touch panel market forecast shows explosive growth in the market over the last nine years (since 2006) with touch panel revenue due to hit some $36B by 2020, with much of this still being spent on ITO-based technology. Of this, the overall non-ITO portion of the market in 2014 was at $635M, and by 2020 this will grow to be over $6B and as high as $8.1B in 2021 with an overall CAGR of 66% according to Colegrove’s reckoning. The 2014 revenue was shared by up to 10 different types of ITO replacement technologies, that the research firm parsed into six categories including, metal mesh, silver nanowire, conductive polymer, carbon nanotube (and “nanobud”), graphene, plus one category for the other technologies that include zinc oxide, Sante and thin metal wire.
To illustrate the growth in non-touch technologies, Colegrove looked at the automotive market. She said the recent presence of both Apple (Car Play) and Google (Open Automotive Alliance or OAA) was bringing a level of change to the space that is now growing beyond niche market status for displays. This is happening particularly in the non-touch (touch-less) market with technologies that include gesture (mostly camera-based systems), voice recognition, and other sensor technologies that include eye-tracking. For example, Colegrove reported that over 55 companies were working on camera based gesture control alone, 49 on motion sensor fusion, and some 28 on voice recognition. She also expects to see touch-less move from $13B today to over $42B in revenue by the end of the decade. Other technologies are also included in this count that include photodiode (using ambient light, UV or IR), short-range wireless technologies for HMI (device to device NFC tag and reader for example) and even the more exotic like brain wave technology (CA based Emotiv) neuro-headset technology.
Make no mistake, the wave of both touch, and non-touch technologies is both diverse and growing at a healthy rate. The field represents some of the best CAGR numbers in the Display industry today, as manufacturers continue to seek out the optimum way to make the user’s intention known to all that is “smart” in our pocket, on our wrist, in our car and yes even – at some point on our head. – Steve Sechrist
Jennifer Colegrove spoke at the Planar Systems office in Beaverton, OR at the invitation of the Board Chairman, Adi Abileah. The meeting was well attended with members and guests both on-site and Webinar participation.