New Market Report on Sensors and Other Components for Gestural Recognition

Gesture recognition will gradually replace today's multifunctional touch screens with the result that the market for sensors and related components used in gestural control systems will grow from $770 million in 2014 to about $3.5 billion in 2019. This according to a just-released report from NanoMarkets, "Gestural Recognition: Sensors, Cameras and Other Technology Opportunities—2014."

The report also predicts that "gesturing" will find its way into a wide variety of new applications, from factory automation to smart phones and the "home of the future." The report notes that the growing role of gestural recognition has been recognized in recent acquisitions by Intel, Apple and Fairchild in the gestural space.

For further details on the report see:

From the Report

The commoditization of touch interfaces will cause OEMs to deploy gestural recognition as a novel interface for smartphones and tablets. Initially, this will use components that already exist in phones, but gradually additional components specifically for gestural control will be added. More expensive cameras and associated sensors, as well as ultrasonic and e-field options for smart phones/tablet are further out. By 2019, the value of these components for smartphones/tablets will have reached $1.2 billion.

Another new application for gestural control is smart TVs. Samsung and LG are marketing remotes with embedded gesture control. Originally this meant just being able to wave the remote to move a cursor on the screen. However, the latest LG "Magic Remote" allows users to choose a channel by drawing numbers in the air. As gestural recognition remotes become common, NanoMarkets thinks this application will generate demand for 3D cameras and eventually time-of-flight (ToF) cameras. TVs, with their focus on high-quality images, are unlikely to make use of low-end 2D cameras. The market for sensors and related devices for gestural control in smart TVs will reach $1.18 billion by 2019. By the end of the forecast period a sizeable fraction of smart TVs will be controlled by the hands and fingers alone, without a remote control.

In fact, many of the latest applications for gestural recognition will be enabled by the advent of cameras using 3D image sensors, which can detect image and depth information at the same time. This is a compelling technology for the consumer electronics market; it can provide more precise gesture recognition than 2D image sensors at a reasonable cost. By 2019, NanoMarkets projects revenues from 3D image sensors to reach $930 million.

Nonetheless, ToF cameras could be the next big thing in gesture recognition. ToF promises ultrafast response times and this will be very effective for accurately detecting much more subtle hand and finger gestures than is possible with stereo cameras. ToF also has no problem with latency, which can cause noticeable delays in image recognition in other systems. ToF also works well in poorly lit environments, which can be an important advantage. ToF sensors generate almost no revenues today, but by 2019 NanoMarkets expects that $550 million in ToF sensors will be bought for gestural recognition systems.


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