‘Sensor fusion platform to become mainstream in smartphones’

By Anuj Sharma - December 12, 2017
smartphones
Sensor Fusion platform is powerful not only for medical applications to detect muscle contraction or sweat or body temperature or heart rate variation but also for non-medical applications from immers....

Smartphones’ today contain different kinds of sensors that provides enhanced functionalities to boost the overall user experience of the device. However, sensor fusion platforms are finally gaining popularity and are getting adopted by different OEM players beyond smartphones, a new research has revealed.

According to market research firm Counterpoint Research’s Components Tracker, the sensor fusion capabilities in a device will help OEMs create newer experiences by detecting context, emotion based on the different physiological variable states from the sensor data. The key suppliers such as InvenSense (TDK), Samsung, Mobileye, ST Micro, Bosch, AMS are driving this trend across different segments from smartphone to wearable to automotive.

As MEMS technology become more advanced, less expensive and miniaturised, the microcontroller driven software platform helps to fuse the multiple sensor data to provide more accurate and contextual output. For example, combining accelerometer, magnetometer, gyroscope to accurately predict position in the physical world.

“Sensor Fusion platform adoption will breathe more life into smartphones and emerging categories such as smartwatches, AR/VR devices, automotive and other IoT enterprise solutions,” said Neil Shah, Research Director, Counterpoint Research.

Sensor Fusion platform is powerful not only for medical applications to detect muscle contraction or sweat or body temperature or heart rate variation but also for non-medical applications from immersive gaming to accurate indoor navigation to preventing car accidents monitoring the driver.

The adoption of sensor fusion is what will make devices actually smarter as it’s all about data and drawing out contextual awareness from it, Shah noted.

Iris scanner, 3D sensing, Gyroscope, NFC were among the popular sensors this year, powering features from facial biometrics to AR/VR, immersive gaming, digital payments and others.

“Almost one in two smartphones will integrate an NFC solution or a Gyroscope by 2020,” the report said.

Some premium smartphones have already integrated more than 15 different sensors and this number is set to increase due to technological advances in MEMS and other sensor technologies driving newer use cases.

All sensors combined, over six billion sensors were shipped within smartphones in 2017 and is estimated to cross the 10 billion mark in 2020.

“Sensors such as Accelerometer, Compass, Gyroscope and Ambient Light Sensors (ALS) have been the key components to make a phone smarter carving out meaningful use-cases from navigation, gaming, augmented reality to preserving battery life and much more,” added Pavel Naiya, Senior Analyst at Counterpoint Research.

Over a billion smartphones to be shipped in 2018 will sport a fingerprint sensor and close to 400 million will feature some form of face unlock biometric sensor solution.

“Apple, Samsung and Xiaomi were the top three brands driving Gyroscope shipments with a combined 60 per cent share in 2017. In NFC based smartphone shipments, Samsung, Apple & Huawei alone captured 83 per cent of the market.

 

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