NanoMarkets provides market research and industry analysis of opportunities within advanced materials and emerging energy and electronics markets
Within the emerging category of wearable computing, arguably the most characteristic product to emerge is "smart glasses" which mesh the communications capabilities of smartphones with additional visual and other sensual enhancements, including augmented reality. The primary selling feature of smart glasses is their ability to display video, navigation, messaging, augmented reality (AR) applications, and games on a large virtual screen, all completely hands-free. The current poster child for smart glasses is Google’s "Glass" product, but there are more than 20 firms offering smart glasses or planning to do so.
The hands-free nature of smart glasses opens up new possibilities for human-computer interfaces (HCI), drawing from smart phones as well as interfaces developed in other contexts (e.g. virtual reality). Early smart glasses models are leaning on mature and low-cost technologies with notable influence from smartphones; however we see a gradual trend for smart glasses (and other wearable computing devices) to be driven by more natural interface controls, once these technologies have time to mature as well -- and they're getting remarkably close.
October 14, 2014 Category: OLEDs
The fledgling industry for organic light-emitting diode (OLED) industry is now entering a phase of concerted efforts to achieve commercialization on a wider scale. OLED lighting is inching toward mass production, particularly for industrial and large-scale applications, despite a relatively lower demand for OLED products compared to LED solutions -- for now. Office and residential lighting segments are often touted as the most preferred fits for OLED lighting technology, where OLEDs promise better aesthetics and architectural integration compared to LEDs and incandescent lights. These markets would seem most ready to pay a premium for such capabilities.
Long-term, however, NanoMarkets sees another end market emerging strongly for OLED lighting opportunities: the automotive industry, both for exterior and interior usage.
Assuming that the smart glasses concept takes off, NanoMarkets believes that it will open up significant business opportunities for suppliers of components and subsystems ranging from optical and audio devices, through sensors to processors of various kinds. These opportunities are of two types, which we will call “volume sales” and “value-added.” We profile these below.
September 24, 2014 Category: Emerging Electronics
NanoMarkets believes that, for the first time, this is now creating significant revenue generation potential for components and subsystems suppliers in the gestural recognition space. We are encouraged in this belief by the following trends and possibilities.
As in any evolving market, NanoMarkets expect to see increased consolidation and M&A activity at the intersections of smart grid & sensor functionalities -- smart metering, outage management systems, SCADA, data computing & analytics, and feeder automation -- as these proliferate within the broader evolution of the Internet-of-Things (IoT). This is especially likely as broad sensor manufacturers show keen interest in developing sensing solutions for smart grid applications, and as established companies from tangential industries (AT&T and Google, for example) seek to extend their reach into smart grids. At the same time, we also expect these advanced sensor technologies will expand the addressable market base, as suppliers seek avenues to cross-sell their products into other industries such as water, gas, transportation, and telecom.
September 18, 2014 Category: Emerging Electronics
The Internet-of-Things (IoT), a proliferation of multitudes of interconnected sensors and processors, is arguably the most disruptive shift in technology since the origination of the Internet itself. It's a complex universe spanning communications, identification, location tracking, and security, enabled by multitudes of electronic equipment & devices and sensors.
Several technology advancements have been driving the IoT. The brains of these devices (embedded chips) are becoming more sophisticated and cheaper, as have reliable communications capabilities. Another reason: cloud storage for data and applications. And as the IoT expands, there are huge new opportunities for manufacturers of power source devices to make it all run.
The solar panel industry now seems back on track following the boom-and-bust period. It's still a sector dominated by crystalline silicon, but the current upswing means that the search is on once more for materials platforms that improve the conversion efficiency of solar panels, and efforts have been rebooted to hone and ultimately commercialize these next-generation materials.
Some of them are close at hand, such as novel approaches to doping silicon panels. Meanwhile, the thin-film PV sector continues to seek success against entrenched c-Si; this could come from improvements to CdTe and CIGS, while other thin-film materials are beginning to receive serious commercial attention. The solar industry also is beginning to think out of the box with a slew of entirely new nanomaterials such as quantum dots, nanowires, nanotubes and graphene.
Here's a rundown of what we see emerging in next-gen solar PV materials
August 20, 2014 Category: Smart Technology
"Smart grids" promise to solve many of these problems by enabling broad knowledge and control of operations at all levels, from generation to transmission & distribution to end-use, to help better understand and take action regarding areas that are key to maintaining grid health and stability. These will depend upon real-time collection and communication of a wide range of data throughout the grid. Examples include measuring voltage and inductance levels in the T&D network, time synchronization and equipment temperatures at substations, and smart meters and energy conservation in homes and businesses.
All these multiple sensing, monitoring, and control functions will translate into enormous opportunities for various types of sensors. Below are some of the specific market opportunities NanoMarkets anticipates -- some of which need more time to be available or become reliable.
August 19, 2014 Category: OLEDs
So the big question for the OLED makers is whether (1) OLEDs will go the way of PDPs and EPDs or if (2) there is something genuinely new and exciting to be had in OLED technology. NanoMarkets is firmly in the second camp and thinks that the OLED sector will generate $3.7 billion in materials alone by 2019. OLEDs are not only a display technology but also a lighting technology, and this “dual-use” aspect of OLEDs will ultimately “save” OLEDs from the fate of PDPs and EPDs.
August 06, 2014 Category:
NanoMarkets has been covering the transparent conductor (TCs) market for just under a decade. During that time we have observed the market’s initial excitement and subsequent disappointment in the prospects of ITO alternatives. The technologies’ immaturity had a great deal to do with this failure but combined with the market’s unwillingness to adopt replacement solutions, significant corrections in the PV market, the resilience of LCD display technologies and the overpromising/underestimating by the vendor community resulted in what appeared to be another hype story gone bad.
However, within the past two years we have seen alternative TCs finally emerge as a serious business opportunity. Not only have they improved their performance compared to ITO, but they have found a fast growing application – touch-screen sensors – whose manufactures seem willing to accept alternative TCs as much more than just a “science experiment”: In 2014 we expect that between 10-15 percent of touch-screen sensors will use alternative TCs. And, that penetration number will only grow over the coming decade. Since touch sensing is expected to become increasingly common for displays over the same period, it seem that touch is a good place to be for alternative TCs right now.