Beyond its traditional medical and industrial markets, 3D imaging & sensing is ready to conquer consumer and automotive, with an exponential growth pattern starting from $1.3B in 2016 and reaching $9B in 2022.
A 3D imaging & sensing market revolution is ahead, thanks to an expected explosion of consumer applications
For several decades, 3D imaging & sensing technologies have matured under the umbrella of high-end markets and been applied with great success, mainly in medical and industrial applications. In 2016 3D imaging & sensing devices became quite significant business wise, generating more than $1.3B in revenue. While Yole anticipated the advent of 3D imaging & sensing in consumer products by 2020, it seems the schedule has accelerated in recent months. 2018 will likely see a massive influx of products, with the first applications in mobile and computing. And with the iPhone8 expected to incorporate a front-facing 3D camera, 3D’s application as a user interface will finally be better understood. 3D imaging & sensing has made several consumer attempts in the past, i.e. the Kinect game accessory and the Leap motion gesture controller. This time around, we expect Apple to make it right and definitive. Augmented reality is an application, not hardware, and mobile will be the main benefactor of this innovation. Drones & Robots will also benefit from the situation. With a CAGR of 37.7% over the next five years, Yole Développement forecasts 3D imaging & sensing devices to reach $9B by 2022.
This report describes the applications, technologies, and players associated with this market’s impending explosion.
The ecosystem is ebullient, with new technologies and applications set to shake established positions with disruptive forces
In the past, 3D imaging & sensing technologies have had difficulty penetrating the consumer space. We believe things will be different now, and this report provides the reasons why, and explains who could benefit. In the last two years, M&A activity has been particularly high: the main examples are Apple purchasing Faceshift (not confirmed), Intel acquiring Movidius, Sony acquiring Softkinetic, and AMS acquiring Heptagon and Princeton Optronics.
This report delivers key insights into the battle for 3D markets and technologies before it happens.
There are parallels between this situation and the introduction of fingerprint readers in mobile in late 2013, and dual cameras at the end of 2016. And as this high-volume market invests and accelerates the R&D effort in order to make new technologies mature, the after-effect will eventually reach other markets in a typical domino effect known as “a disruption”. These events will boost the adoption of 3D in automotive and commercial robotics, along with other applications in construction, commercial, and manufacturing. The presence of the same actors either on the industry’s horizontals or verticals is a sign of heavyweight companies in the current state of the market. They may suffer if they are not part of the fray, while others will be ideally positioned. This is also an opportunity for ssome players to enter the field of Imaging such as Infineon, AMS and Himax, the battle with giants such as Sony and Intel will probably be quite dramatic.
A technology prepared to disrupt all markets
3D imaging & sensing technologies are difficult to segment, since a plethora of approaches coexist. This is a typical sign of market immaturity, with each application developing its own “technology flavor” and multiple companies fighting for different market niches.
However, this situation is about to change significantly in the next five years, as a forthcoming “killer application” will bring to market a specific set of devices and players. Big things are on the horizon, especially for technologies like time of flight (ToF) which is bringing device miniaturization and structured light (SL) which is bringing high-resolution mapping at reasonable cost.
Semiconductor players in this field have a great part to play, as none of them are exempt from imaging product involvement. Specific technologies such as single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD) and 3D hybrid stack BSI will probably play a significant role. Laser illuminators and lidar (another aspect of ToF) will also play determinant roles, and other techniques like stereo and computational approaches will have their say too. This report provides a clear-cut vision of the challenges ahead. Some technologies will see developments in the billions of dollars, and some in the tens or hundreds of millions. The tide will not enrich all players, and as an independent observer of markets and technologies, Yole Développement is uniquely positioned to provide your company with an understanding of the revolution before it happens.
Objectives of the Report
- Ecosystem identification and analysis
- Determination of the application range
- Technical market segmentation
- Market trends and forecasts
- Key players by market, and analysis
- Analysis and description of markets and technologies involved:
- Detailed applications per market segment
- Major actors, worldwide
- Technology trends
- Main technical challenges
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