Haptic is a Greek word which means ‘able to come into contact’ or ‘anything related to sense of touch’. The technology where the sense of touch is recreated through vibration or other means is known as haptic technology. Haptic technology saw one of the earliest applications in large aircrafts, where controls surfaces were operated through servomechanism systems, a system which provided negative feedback when it sensed error. The servo systems was not equipped enough to let the pilot know of any external threats. The servo systems were modified with weights and springs to allow sending vibrations to the controller in the pilot’s hand, whenever threats were detected by the servo system. Modern haptic technology utilizes sensors to measure the amount of force exerted, by the user, on the user interface and then sends a feedback.
The market for haptic technology is growing at a very fast pace, primarily owing to the growing demand for various consumer electronic devices globally. Haptic technology is now a common feature in most mobile handsets such as smart phones and tablets. It is also being used in various laptops. It has also being seeing growing applications in gaming consoles. The increasing penetration of internet of things (IoT) coupled with rural penetration of internet in emerging economies has been boosting the growth of smart phones, tablets and laptops market. This in turn has been positively impacting the growth of haptic technology market. Additionally, haptic technology is also being utilized in vehicular electronics and medical electronics among others. Furthermore, various research institutes and research and development (R&D) divisions of corporations have been focusing on improving haptic systems and also to develop newer applications for haptic technology. Considering all the positive impacts of the above mentioned factors, the market for haptic technology is expected to grow at a fast pace.
The global haptic technology market can be segmented, on the basis of feedback, into force and tactile. Tactile haptic technology is more prevalent owing to their presence in smart phones, tablets, laptops and other consumer electronic devices. On the basis of components, the haptic technology market has been segmented into actuators, controllers and others. By end-use industry, the global haptic technology market is segmented into aerospace & defense, automotive, healthcare, consumer electronics and others. Each of the segments aerospace & defense, automotive, healthcare and consumer electronics is further segmented into commercial and research. Research is being conducted on haptic technology in all these sectors and also commands a large amount of revenue share. The global haptic technology market has been further segmented into five regions: North America, Europe, Asia Pacific (APAC), South America and Middle-East & Africa (MEA). In terms revenue, Asia Pacific had the largest market share in 2015, followed by North America and Europe. Growing smart phone penetration, increasing usage of internet enabled devices and large user base for consumer electronics are the primary reasons for Asia Pacific being the top revenue garner. North America is the second highest revenue garner in the haptic technology market. The growth rate of haptic technology is also good in Latin America, with increasing penetration of smart phones and tablets in the region.
The major companies of the haptic technology market globally are Senseg Oy (Finland) Force Dimension (Switzerland), Haption SA (France), Texas Instruments, Inc. (U.S.), Ultrahaptics (U.K), ON Semiconductor Corporation (U.S.), SMK Corporation (Japan), Microchip Technology, Inc. (U.S.), Precision Microdrives, Ltd. (U.K.), IMAGIS Co., Ltd. (South Korea) and Synaptics Incorporated (U.S.) among various others. Some of the strategies adopted by these companies, to remain competitive in the market, includes R&D, mergers, acquisitions and partnership with other companies among other strategies.