Touchless controls are in high demand as COVID-19 makes people adverse to touch surfaces that could transmit the disease, especially in public and high-traffic areas. With many regions reopening their economy, the development and integration of touchless interfaces is rapidly accelerating, including retrofitting of touch interfaces to touchless. Consequently, the market is expected to grow at a 9% CAGR from 2019-2030.
The benefits of touchless human-machine-interface (HMI) also includes safety – think voice control in automotive that helps keep drivers’ hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road. Touchless HMI can provide security as with motion and infrared sensors to detect people at night and can help conserve power and resources by using motion detection in buildings. The list is quite extensive.
Our research places touchless components and devices into several categories: touchless thermometer (and thermo imaging), 6-feet distance sensor, four types of gesture control, proximity touch screen, eye tracking, voice command, and wearable devices for touchless control.
We recently analyzed over 390 companies working on touchless sensors, touchless software, touchless head-mounted systems and system integration. Out of these, our analysis finds that 110 companies are working on voice command and 69 are working on camera-based gesture, which we believe is tied to the increasing familiarity with mobile phones and in-home assistant uses like Amazon’s Alexa or Google’s Home devices. Figure 1 shows the full list of technology categories for the companies analyzed.
Figure 1. Touchless Human-Machine-Interface technologies attracted over 390 companies
Source: Touchless HMI 2020 report, 3rd edition, Touch Display Research, 2020
Touchless technologies can be used in dozens of applications. In the report, we provide a market history and forecast from 2013 to 2030 organized into the following seven touchless application categories:
- AR, VR, XR and game console
- Home automation/TV/smart speakers
- Mobile phone & tablets
- Notebooks, desktop monitors & PCs
- Wearable – non head-mounted
- Out-of-home touchless
Certain touchless HMI technology will grow faster than others in different applications. For example, in the AR, VR, XR and game console market, we forecast voice command will lead this application in the next several years with 24% market share in 2020, 23% market share in 2025 and 21% market share in 2030. Motion sensor fusion has the second most market share in 2020. Eye tracking will gain market share and surpass motion sensor fusion and become the second leading touchless technology with 19% market share in 2030 in this category. Figure 2 provides the full breakout for this market.
Figure 2. Touchless Human-Machine-Interface for AR VR XR and game console application, market forecast. Source: Touchless HMI 2020 report, 3rd edition, Touch Display Research, 2020
In summary, touchless HMI will enjoy accelerated growth in the next 10 years. The touchless HMI market provides significant financial opportunities for semiconductor companies, OEM/ODMs, proximity touch suppliers and software companies. Designers of products that currently require multiple touches in public environments should immediately consider adapting to the impacts of COVID-19 on our world. Strategic thinking and action now could lead to product success for the foreseeable future.
About the author: Dr. Jennifer Colegrove is CEO and the principal analyst for Touch Display Research Inc., a research and consulting firm specializing in touch screen and emerging display technologies. TDR provides reports, consulting, and due diligence to touch suppliers, display manufacturers, semiconductor companies, consumer electronics ODMs/OEMs, material suppliers, investors and venture capitalists. For report and consulting, please visit our website: TouchDisplayResearch.com.