Touch sensors detect touch or the presence of close objects without relying on physical contact. Since, it does not have any moving parts like that of mechanical switch or potentiometer, it is more convenient and reliable to use. It is one of the important components used in touch screen alongside a controller integrated circuit and software driver. Thus, touch sensors with rotary wheels, linear or rotational sliders, and touch pads offer major advantages for in-built user interfaces. Moreover, they can be updated with simple software changes. Therefore, they have been used in cellular handsets and automated teller machines for a long time. However, owing to their falling prices, their applications are further extended to include devices such as public information displays, retail and restaurant systems, customer self-service, control and automation systems, digital jukeboxes, financial and scientific applications, ticket sales in airports and movie theaters, etc.
Advancement in technology in conjunction with the staggering growth of hand-held devices such as cellular handsets, laptops, tablets, etc. is the key factor driving the touch sensor market across the world. Its simple user interface and low response time allows its use in the devices where space is at a premium. Thus, owing to its defined interface, the designer has greater design freedom at a reduced overall system cost. Furthermore, owing to its power efficiency and compact structure, it can be easily integrated in handheld devices such as cellular handsets. Also, it provides quick access to any and all type of digital media assisting multi-functionally of the device. Moreover, as the touch sensor is completely sealable it creates a device that is resistant to water spills and dusts to a larger extent. Therefore, it is expected to be increasingly used to enable lighter and thinner handsets and other portable devices in the future.
Accidental touch and high sensitivity are the only key limitations that are affecting the touch sensor market. However, several manufacturers are including additional features to control these parameters in the settings menu of the device, thus leaving an insignificant impact on the high market growth.
An opportunity that is anticipated to boost the touch sensor market include its integration in touch-enabled devices that are used in retail and corporate sector. In these sectors, it is increasingly used to enhance product and service offerings aiding customer engagement and business growth. Apart from this, mechanical button and switch replacement in applications such as home entertainment system and home appliances are further expected to provide opportunities to the touch sensor market.
The touch sensor market can be classified on the basis of type, technology, application, and geography. Based on type, the touch sensor market can be segmented into resistive, capacitive, infrared, surface acoustic wave, and optical. Based on technology, the touch sensor market can be segmented into conventional, flexible, and others. Based on application, the touch sensor market can be segmented into smartphones, tablets, monitors, laptops, all-in-one PCs, biometric systems, automated teller machines, and others. Others comprises of music player, digital signage, personal digital assistant, and gaming console. Based on geography, the touch sensor market can be segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific (APAC), Middle East & Africa (MEA), and South America. North America and Asia Pacific are expected to be highly attractive regions for the touch sensor market owing to the presence of a large number of consumer electronics manufacturers in these regions.
Prominent players operating in the touch sensor market include 3M Touch Systems Inc., Atmel Corp, Banpil Photonics Inc., Cypress Semiconductor Corp, DMC Co., Ltd., Freescale Semiconductor Ltd., Fujitsu Ltd, Honeywell International Inc., Infineon Technologies AG, Neonode Inc., ON semiconductor Corp, Siemens AG, and Texas instruments, Inc.
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