‘Need for Speed’ to Increase the Relevance of Optical Sensors in IoT Applications

The optical sensor market is charting an impressive growth, catalyzed by the quest of numerous end-use industries for a future-benign revolution. According to a latest study published by Transparency Market Research (TMR), the optical sensor market will record a value tantamount to ~US$ 1.4 Bn in 2019, and will advance at a CAGR of ~11% during 2019-2027. The need for high Internet speed to facilitate seamless operations of IoT devices is projected to exert a strong influence on the landscape.

Since the ‘price’ of optical sensors is a key competitive parameter, local players, especially those based in developing countries, tend to penetrate in developed countries and distinguish themselves by offering effective optical sensors – in terms of both, price and operations – which puts a price-reduction pressure on established players. However, the threat of counterfeit optical sensors is leading to shifting interest towards substitute sensors, with photoelectric sensors leading the pack.

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Quest for Effective Communication to Catalyze Revenue from Numerous End-use Industries

The optical sensor market is a technology-intensive market, meaning, market players need to invest towards the development of highly-efficient optical sensors to cater to the demand of sensitive end-use applications such as medical, biometrics, and automotive. As industry 4.0 began gaining prominence, the relevance of optical sensors increased in manufacturing applications across industries, while the demand from early optical sensor adopters has fortified.

Among the early adopters of optical sensors, gains from consumer electronics are likely to remain lucrative, owing to the massive uptake in the demand for smartphones, smart watches, tablets, and voice assistant devices, among others. However, the penetration of biometrics technology to underpin security and tracking features is gaining exponential momentum, which can unlock market consolidation opportunities for market players. The future of the optical sensor market will gain a new dimension, as autonomy will propel the growth of the automotive industry, and optical sensors will make effective communication media to abate road-mishap instances.

Extrinsic Optical Sensor – The Optical Sensor for Modern Applications

Traditional requirements ascending from end-use industries were limited to the use of sensors for gauging variables such as vibration, acoustic pressure, strain, acceleration, and rotation, which deemed intrinsic optical sensors as ideal components. However, since contemporary and futuristic electronic components shoulder the responsibility of operating numerous systems with procured intelligence, without human intervention, market players extend the capacities of optical sensors by improving their potency to measure temperature, flow, liquid level, pressure, etc., and transmit data to the designated module.

Such requirements have engendered extrinsic optical sensors at a lower price than intrinsic sensors. According to the study, the sales of intrinsic optical sensors are projected to remain high in terms of value; however, the relevance of extrinsic optical sensors will improve at a CAGR of ~11% during 2019-2027.

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  • According to Transparency Market Research’s latest research report on the optical sensor market for the historical period of 2017 – 2018 and the forecast period of 2019 – 2027, increasing application of optical sensors in smartphones and tablets is expected to boost the global optical sensor market during the forecast period.
  • In terms of revenue, the global optical sensor market is estimated to reach a value of ~US$ 3.2 Bn by 2027, expanding at a CAGR of ~11% throughout the forecast period. 

Development of On-screen Fingerprint Sensors: A Key Driver

  • Optical fingerprint sensor is the oldest method of comparing and capturing fingerprints. As the name suggests, this technique relies on capturing an optical image, essentially a photograph, and using algorithms to detect unique patterns on the surface, such as ridges or unique marks, by analyzing the lightest and darkest areas of an image.
  • Similar to smartphone cameras, optical sensors can have a finite resolution. The higher the resolution, the finer details the sensor can discern about fingerprints. This enhances the level of security. However, these sensors can capture images with much higher contrast than a regular camera.
  • With the increasing demand for security, smartphones have adopted scanners with high capacities. Declining costs of technology have made optical sensors using capacitive touchscreens viable for use in mid-range products too. Since companies are adopting on-screen fingerprint authentication, the demand for optical sensors is expected to increase in the near future. 

Manufacturers Focus on Innovative Techniques to Enter the Growing Optical Sensor Market

  • Optical sensor technology is attracting a great deal of attention due to its numerous applications in the automotive field. Manufacturers operating in the global optical sensor market are increasingly investing in research & development activities to find new and innovative techniques to develop optical sensors.
  • The optical sensor market is highly fragmented with the presence of several manufacturers, especially in Europe. Moreover, with the increasing number of manufacturers, product differentiation has become vital aspect to gain a competitive edge in the marketplace.

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Development of Fiber Optical Sensors: Latest Trend Among Key Market Players

  • Fiber optical sensors are also known as optical fiber sensors. These sensors are classified into two types: intrinsic sensors and extrinsic sensors. These sensors are employed to sense parameters such as pressure, vibrations, temperature, displacements, rotations, and concentration of chemical species. Specifically, the extrinsic type of fiber optical sensors is used for the measurement of vibrations.
  • Fiber optical sensing is a new technology, which is based on white light polarization interferometry (WLPI). This technology offers more benefits over the fiber optics technology.
  • Fiber optical sensors offer various advantages such as easy deployment and adoption, increased stability, enhanced safety for data transmission, high reliability, low maintenance, light weight, small size, and resistance to high voltages.
  • Owing to these advantages, the demand for fiber optical sensors is expected to increase significantly in the near future.

Global Optical Sensor Market: Competition Landscape

  • Detailed profiles of the manufacturers of optical sensors have been provided in the report to evaluate their financials, key product offerings, recent developments, and strategies.
  • Companies are focusing on the use of advanced and efficient technologies with superior performance, which would help in the miniaturization of sensors.
  • Key players operating in the global optical sensor market are –
    • ROHM Co. Ltd
    • Rockwell Automation Inc.
    • SICK AG
    • Vishay Intertechnology Inc.
    • Honeywell International Inc.
    • On Semiconductor Corporation
    • IFM Efector Inc.
    • Keyence Corporation
    • Pepperl+Fuchs GmbH
    • STMicroelectronics NV
    • Panasonic Corporation

 

Global Optical Sensor Market: Key Developments

Key manufacturers of optical sensors, such as Vishay Intertechnology and Panasonic Corporation, are strengthening their overseas sales structure by increasing their production capacities. Another key development in the global optical sensor market is as follows:

  • In July 2019, the optoelectronics group of Vishay Intertechnology, Inc., launched a new ambient light sensor for use in small applications such as smart watches and sport bands, wherein, extremely high sensitivity is required to allow light to be sensed through a very dark cover glass.

In the report on the global optical sensor market, we have discussed individual strategies, followed by company profiles of manufacturers of optical sensors. The ‘Competition Landscape’ section has been included in the report to provide readers with a dashboard view and market share analysis of key players operating in the global optical sensor market.

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