A sensor is a device that detects, measures, and monitors physical equipment in order to provide the required information to the end-user. A sensor exists for almost all consumer electronic applications. Currently, sensors have become more powerful, affordable, and efficient in use due to advancements in manufacturing technology, which has lowered their overall cost. These developments have promoted their use in portable devices, gaming, home appliances and navigation. Advancements in sensors are creating new and interactive applications for them in the fields of home automation, robotics, and digital health.
Application have been developed that use smartphone sensors to provide various kinds of information to the user that might be related to their health, navigation, or other information. Gaming consoles, PCs, tablets, mobile phones, and notebooks use different kinds of sensors for user interaction and for energy competence. The sensors market has witnessed strong penetration in consumer electronics, largely due to advancements in the technology used to design various types of sensors. These technologies include advanced raw materials used for designing sensors, such as silicon carbide (SiC), carbon nanotube (CNT), and indium antimonide.
The market is segmented on the basis of product type, including the image sensor, temperature sensor, pressure sensor, touch sensor, and motion sensor segments. An image or imaging sensor is used to identify images to convey information. It is widely used in digital cameras and a large number of imaging devices used in consumer applications. Due to increased demand for cameras, camcorders, mobile phones, and security cameras, the demand for image sensors is expected to gain traction in the coming years.
A temperature sensor acts as a transducer and provides temperature measurements through electrical signals. Temperature sensors are used to maintain the temperature of food and medicines and are widely used in refrigeration. Pressure sensors are equipped with pressure-sensitive elements that are used to measure the pressure of gases or liquids. They are widely used in wearable health and sports devices to accurately measure speed and calorie consumption.
A touch sensor measures, captures, and records the physical touch on a device or object. Touch sensors are extensively used in gaming controllers, home entertainment, home appliances, cellular handsets, and portable media devices. A motion sensor uses multiple technologies to detect movement in a particular arena. Also known as motion detector, it is a vital component in installed in home security systems. It is connected to a burglar alarm used to give security alerts to home owners.
The market is driven by the need for the efficient performance of various consumer electronic devices and high requirement for ease of operation among end-use verticals. The growing adoption of smartphones and tablets around the world is another vital reason for the strong growth of the market. Growing consumer preference for wearable devices is also expected to drive the demand for sensors. Nowadays, wearable devices are in every end-user environment from health devices to gesture detection.
The availability of low-cost alternatives and low product differentiation might restrict the growth of the market. Sensors have immense opportunity in digital health and wellness devices largely due to the growing adoption of these devices among consumers out of the growth of health concerns. Opportunity also lies in the automotive sector, particularly in power steering, safety, security, and automated driving.
Key players in the market include Honeywell International Inc., Microchip Technology Inc., MEMSIC Inc., InvenSense Inc., Sensata Technologies Inc., Panasonic Corp., Asahi Kasei Microdevices Corp, Freescale Semiconductor Inc., and Hitachi Automotive Systems.
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