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.
The author 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, the author 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
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?
A.1 What is haptics?
A.2 Haptics in mobile devices
Implementation in Mobile Devices
New Generation Haptics
A.3 Haptics in this report
A.4 Haptics in the User Experience
B. ARCHITECTURE OF THE HAPTICS SYSTEM
B.1 Components of a Haptics System
Next Generation Actuators
Application Processor versus Dedicated IC
B.2 First Generation Haptics
B.3 Second Generation Haptics
Electroactive Polymer Artificial Muscle Actuation
B.4 Third Generation Haptics
Enhanced Third Generation Features
Mitigates the Need for Mechanical Vibrations
Key Third Generation Technologies
Capacitive Electrosensory Interface
B.5 Advances on the Horizon
The Prototouch Network
B.6 Technology Differentiators
Current Generation Differentiators
Ease of integration
Next Generation Differentiators
Applicable Across Devices Categories
Wide Range of Textures
C. MARKET DRIVERS AND BARRIERS
C.1 Market Drivers
Consumer-Led Drivers of Haptics Adoption
Broadening of Haptics Applications
New Device Types and Form Factors
Industry-Led Drivers of Haptics Adoption
Simpler Device Integration
Reduced Power Consumption
Diversification of Device Portfolio
C.2 Market Barriers
The Challenge of Realism
D. THE HAPTICS VALUE CHAIN
D.1 Technology Suppliers
D.2 Actuator Vendors
AAC Technologies, Hong Kong
Nidec Compal Electronics, Japan
Daesun Electric, Korea
Jahwa Electronics, Korea
Johnson Electric, Hong Kong
LG Innotek, Korea
LuFa Micro Motor/ Yeuqing, China
Minebea Motor Manufacturing Corp, Japan
Samsung Electro-Mechanics (SEMCO), Korea
Shicoh Engineering, China
Yeil Electronics, Korea
Yoosung Precision, Korea
AAC Technologies, Hong Kong (see above)
Hokuriku Electric Industry, Japan
NEC Tokin, Japan
Specialized Actuator & Third Generation Technology Vendors
EPAM – Artificial Muscle
Surface Actuation – Pacinian
Capacitive Electrosensory – Senseg
Tactile Layer – Tactus Technology
Surface Sensation – Redux Labs
D.3 Controller IC Vendors
D.4 OEM Strategies
Apple's Haptics Future
Market Impact of Apple's Haptics Take-up
E. MARKET SIZE AND FORECAST
E.2 Handset Market
Touchscreen Mobile Devices
E.3 Haptics-enabled Devices
E.4 Haptics Software Market
E.5 Haptics Hardware Systems
Regional Breakdown of Shipments
First Generation (1G)
Second Generation (2G)
Third Generation (3G)
Haptics Hardware Market Value
E.6 Haptics ICs
Haptics IC Market Value
E.7 Overall Haptics Market Value
Haptics Hardware Systems
List of Figures
Figure 1 - Haptic response on a virtual touchscreen keyboard
Figure 2 – Labyrinth mobile game benefiting from haptic feedback
Figure 3 - Components of a haptics system
Figure 4 - Summary of haptic techniques in use and under development
Figure 5 - Linear resonant and eccentric rotating mass actuators
Figure 6 – Disk-shaped piezo actuator
Figure 7 – Beam-shaped piezo actuator
Figure 8 – Example of an electro-active polymer actuator
Figure 9 – EPAM touchscreen implementation
Figure 10 - Surface Actuation
Figure 11 – Lateral actuator touchscreen mounting
Figure 12 – Haptic technologies summarised and compared
Figure 13 - Shipments of touchscreen devices by device type: 2012 - 2018
Figure 14 - BOM cost range of the three generations of haptics solutions
Figure 15 – Schematic of the haptics ecosystem
Figure 16 - Tactus Technology's tactile layer interface
Figure 17 - Main suppliers of haptics controller ICs
Figure 18 - Shipments of portable devices with next-generation haptics based on two market entry scenarios for Apple: 2012 – 2018
Figure 19 - BOM cost range of the three generations of haptics solutions
Figure 20 - Handset shipment forecast: 2012 to 2018
Figure 21 - Smartphone shipment forecast: 2013 – 2018
Figure 22 - Smartphone shipment forecast by region 2013 – 2018
Figure 23 - Touchscreen handset shipment forecast: 2012 - 2018
Figure 24 – Touch tablet shipment forecast 2013 – 2018
Figure 25 – Haptics-enabled handset shipments by device type: 2013 to 2018
Figure 26 – Haptics-enabled handset shipments by region: 2013 to 2018
Figure 27 - Penetration of haptics-enabled handsets by region: 2012 & 2018
Figure 28 – Penetration of haptics in touchscreen devices: 2012 to 2018
Figure 29 - Haptics software market value, by device type: 2012-2018
Figure 30 – Shipments of haptics system in handsets by actuator type: 2012-2018
Figure 31 – Shipments of inertial haptics actuatorelement by region: 2012-2018
Figure 32 – Shipments of HD/2G haptics actuator element by region: 2012-2018
Figure 33 - Shipments of 3G haptics actuator element by region: 2012-2018
Figure 34 – Haptic systems market value: 2012 - 2018
Figure 35 – Shipments of haptics controller IC: 2012 - 2018
Figure 36 – Haptics IC shipments by region: 2012-2018
Figure 37 – Haptics IC market value: 2013-2018
Figure 38 – Total haptics market value: 2012-2018
There are several components required to enable haptics in a mobile device. The actuator produces the vibrations; the chip or integrated circuit drives the actuator and may include other capabilities like an amplifier; and software creates waveforms to produce specific haptic effects.
This report examines three generations of actuators - simple inertia-based actuators to create basic vibrations alerts; second generation or HD actuators, which include approaches like piezoelectric actuation and EPAM; and emerging third generation technologies which will support more immersive effects. This generation of emerging technologies will target additional device types, including wearables; will simulate a wider range of textures; and will support 3D. Techniques in this category include capacitive electrosensory interface (CEI), and tiered haptics.
The author expects that first generation, inertial technologies, will remain dominant in terms of the installed base for some years because these are low cost and relatively well understood. However, we expect these will be overtaken by HD, or second generation technologies, mainly piezo and EPAM.
The rising use of touchscreen smartphones and tablets will make the mobile device sector the biggest driver of haptics uptake in the consumer world. The biggest barrier for new generation haptics will be cost, as second and third generation systems will cost up to 11 times more than an inertial option, even as average selling prices of handsets fall, putting pressure on costs.
While there will be steady price pressure on all types of haptics actuators during our forecast period, the author expects that the relatively rapid shift towards new generation technology with more sophisticated effects will actually increase handset makers' BOM spend in this area as they adopt more expensive technologies.
As the haptics sector has evolved, new entrants have appeared and the value chain has become more complex. However, it is likely to simplify once again, as the sector matures and some elements become commoditized, sparking consolidation. There will be increasingly tight cooperation between different players in the value chain.
OEMs are increasingly asserting control over their whole platforms and supply chains, and Samsung is currently the single biggest driver of the embedded haptics space because of its smartphone volumes. It is developing its own technology via its in-house actuation unit, Samsung ElectroMechanical.
Among the mobile platforms, most activity has centred on Android, while Apple has so far stayed out of this space, though we expect it to enter in 2014 when it will be in a position to leapfrog many rivals in terms of sophistication. It has applied for several patents related to advanced haptics, as have Google and Nokia.
-LuFa Micro Motor
-Nidec Compal Technologies