3D Sensor Market size is poised to expand at significant CAGR through 2026 impelled by increasing demand for consumer electronics products such as smartphones and digital cameras. These products are upgraded with new technological features, such as facial recognition and gesture control, propelling the demand for 3D sensors in the coming years. A 360-degree view of surroundings is required for these features to provide accurate results, creating a high demand for 3D sensors. A 3D image is formed using these sensors, which can measure the three dimensions of an object using reflected light. Through this reflected light, an estimate of the correct positioning of the object is calculated, thus increasing their integration into cameras and mobile phones.
The growing adoption of 3D sensors in gaming appliances to introduce a virtual reality experience to consumers will benefit the 3D sensor market. There is an increasing demand for gaming consoles that provide a virtual reality platform for consumers, enhancing the gaming experience. The PlayStation VR, a virtual reality version of a gaming console, was introduced in 2016. It came with 3D sensing cameras and infrared projectors to form a 3D image of the player in a virtual gaming screen. The idea of introducing virtual reality opened a new segment of gaming platforms, adding an advantage to gaming companies to cater to high demand in the industry.
3D sensors are also experiencing lucrative market opportunities from the industrial sector with the rising adoption of autonomous robots. These robotic machines are completely dependent on their installed electronic systems and underlying software to form an accurate 3D blueprint of the workplace. These machines can make decisions based on the 3D image stored in their memory without any assistance. Industrial robots reduce the probability of errors; hence, work can be continued for a longer period. Furthermore, the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) algorithms with 3D sensors further accelerates productivity and overall performance efficiency of industrial processes. These above-mentioned factors will contribute to market growth during the forecast period.
3D sensors are experiencing significant growth opportunities from the medical sector, with rising innovations in medical imaging. Medical professionals are more inclined to adopt modern radiology that aids to deliver 3D visualization and a clear picture of bones & blood vessels. Current solutions provide 2D representations that are not able to provide an accurate estimate of the human body. 3D visual representations can provide in-depth information on anatomy so that correct solutions can be implemented in lesser time. For example, a surgeon can decide the necessary steps to be performed with the help of 3D imagery of a patient even before entering the operation room. This technology narrows down the treatment area, pinpoints the exact problem, and increases the efficiency of treatment.
Based on sensor type, the 3D sensor market is segmented into image sensor, position sensor, accelerometer, and acoustic sensor. The image sensor segment is expected to grow at the highest rate in the market. These sensors are experiencing a wide adoption in biomedical image analysis, robot guidance, robot computer interface, autonomous navigation, and virtual reality, among others. This segment is further categorized into CMOS, electro-optical, and Time-of-Flight (ToF) sensors. The rising adoption of cameras and smartphones have propelled the adoption of CMOS 3D image sensors due to their ability to detect size, shape, and distance within their field of vision.
Based on technology, the market is segmented into Time-of-Flight, stereoscopic vision, and ultrasound. The Time-of-Flight segment is expected to show the highest growth in the market. 3D sensors make use of Time-of-Flight technology for 3D modeling by measuring the time taken by the reflected light to travel to the sensor. 3D sensors make use of infrared waves, which are reflected by the object whose image is to be developed. Sensors measure the time interval of infrared waves from their transmission to reception. Based on the calculated time, a 3D image of the object can be accurately formed.
Based on industry, the market is segmented into consumer electronics, healthcare, industrial automation, and robotics. The consumer electronic segment is anticipated to grow at the highest rate in the market. Sensors used in the consumer electronics industry are widely used for smartphones, wearable, cameras, gaming consoles, etc. Sensors in consumer products deliver useful information, such as position tracking, depth sensing, measurement, and gesture & motion tracking, and are used for security purposes. Artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and virtual reality technologies when integrated with these sensor solutions deliver real-time solutions to consumers.
The growth of the market can be hampered because of factors such as lack of product differentiation, increased maintenance cost, and industries with limited expertise in manufacturing of devices. The cost associated with the production of 3D sensors is high. In addition to this, technologies used for fabrication of these sensors are not advanced enough to match the product’s advancement level. This disruption in the manufacturing process could result in the development of unreliable or faulty sensors, restraining market growth.
North America holds a significant market share in the 3D sensor market owing to rising adoption of IoT in smart homes, smart cities, and industries. According to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), 69% of population in the U.S. have at least one smart home device. Furthermore, rising investments and supportive ecosystems for IoT businesses are assisting sensor manufacturers to produce more advanced sensors for specific usages, driving demand in the region. Several government initiatives to deploy 3D surveillance systems to prevent suspicious activities or capture the image of speeding vehicles are driving regional market growth. The increasing need for the installation of security systems in houses across countries is propelling the demand for 3D sensors. These live feeds can be then analyzed to identify potential criminals using facial recognition software.
Major companies involved in the market are Infineon Technologies, Microchip Technology, OmniVision Technologies, PMD Technologies, Sony, Keyence, Cognex Corporation, IFM Electronic, Intel Corporation, LMI Technologies, Samsung, Occipital, Qualcomm, Sick, ASUSTeK Computer, Finisar Corporation, Microsoft, Panasonic, Leuze Electronic, and Melexis. In March 2020, Infineon Technologies collaborated with Qualcomm to enable a high-quality standard solution for 3D authentication by using REAL3 3D Time-Of-Flight sensor. The collaboration will also enable integration with smartphone manufacturers. Companies are entering into partnerships and increasing their collective effects on product developments. In January 2019, AMS AG entered into an agreement with Face++, a leader in artificial intelligence software, to accelerate the deployment of 3D optical sensing technologies.
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