The importance of the user interface as a differentiating feature amongst mobile devices has never been greater and there has been rising use of haptics in smartphones and tablets to make experiences and interactions more realistic and responsive. The technology will be increasingly important to handset vendors as they seek to differentiate their products and user experiences.
ARCchart forecasts that the base of haptics-enabled mobile devices will enjoy a healthy growth over the coming years, rising from almost 333 million units in 2012 to 1.4 billion in 2018, more than a fourfold increase, or a CAGR of 27%.
Haptics involves the complex manipulation of an actuation element using defined waveforms to produce a range of effects, each of which may be perceived uniquely by the human finger. There are a variety of contexts in which haptics can be leveraged on mobile devices: it can be used to provide tactile feedback on a touchscreen when interacting with various UI elements, such as a virtual keyboard or scrolling list, notifying the user that the input they intended has been registered by the device; or haptics can be used to provide a tactile dimension to gameplay.
In this study, ARCchart investigates the growing use of haptics on mobile phones, examining solutions in the market today, and the host of next generation technologies which will compete for market share over the coming years. The components which constitute a haptics system are described and the ecosystem of technology suppliers, mobile platforms and handset manufacturers are examined. Insight into the various factors driving haptics take-up is provided and estimates for the size of the mobile phone haptics market is presented, along with a five year forecast for growth of the industry.
Topics of coverage include:
- The components of a haptics system
- Haptics technology differentiators
- Comparison and ranking of actuation technologies
- Software implementation: dedicated IC vs. application processor
- OEM patents and R&D
- Next generation, HD haptic systems: review and outlook
- Factor fuelling haptics take-up
- Cost and integration challenges
- Review of the haptics ecosystem
- Vendor profiles
- Market size and five-year forecast
Companies mentioned, discussed or reviewed include:
LuFa Micro Motor
Nidec Compal Technologies
Answers and opinions are provided with respect to the following essential questions:
- What are first, second and third generation haptics?
- How many haptics-enabled phones will ship in 2018?
- What is the value of the haptics market opportunity?
- Why has the haptics market been slow to evolve and gain traction?
- What portion of smartphones will be haptics-enabled?
- Which companies currently dominate the mobile haptics space?
- Which HD haptics technologies are likely to dominate in the short term?
- How do BOM costs compare for the various haptics solutions?
- How will the market for haptics controller ICs grow over the coming years?
- When will HD and third-generation haptics start appearing in commercial products?