The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the rapid emergence and widespread adoption of game-changing technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, computer vision and natural language processing, and growing importance of technologies such as sentiment analysis, facial expression recognition, speech and voice recognition, and biometric sensors. Emotion AI is used in virtual agents and chatbots to create more engaging and empathetic interactions with users. In the last three years alone, there have been over 4.1 million patents filed and granted in the technology industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Artificial intelligence in technology: emotion AIBuy the report here.

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilizing and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

190+ innovations will shape the technology industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the technology industry using innovation intensity models built on over 1.5 million patents, there are 190+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, GenAI for design, finite element simulation and deep reinforcement learning are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. 3D model simulation, drone controls AI, and circuit designing AI are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing.

Innovation S-curve for artificial intelligence in the technology industry

Emotion AI is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence

Emotion AI refers to an AI technology specifically developed to analyse and identify human emotions. It finds applications across a wide range of uses, including customer service chatbots and facial recognition tools. By leveraging natural language processing, machine learning, and computer vision methods, it can accurately detect and interpret human facial expressions, vocal tones, and text-based interactions.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 120+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of emotion AI.

Key players in emotion AI – a disruptive innovation in the technology industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to emotion AI

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
eBay 15 Unlock Company Profile
Electronic Arts 12 Unlock Company Profile
Motorola Solutions 28 Unlock Company Profile
Microsoft 42 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 18 Unlock Company Profile
Apple 11 Unlock Company Profile
SRI International 12 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 10 Unlock Company Profile
Meta Platforms 14 Unlock Company Profile
General Electric 19 Unlock Company Profile
Alarmcom 9 Unlock Company Profile
Koninklijke Philips 10 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 20 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 29 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 51 Unlock Company Profile
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone 12 Unlock Company Profile
Airbus 10 Unlock Company Profile
IBM 63 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba 9 Unlock Company Profile
NEC 31 Unlock Company Profile
Intel 19 Unlock Company Profile
Snap 17 Unlock Company Profile
Nauto 9 Unlock Company Profile
Grammarly 11 Unlock Company Profile
AIC Innovations Group 10 Unlock Company Profile
Drishti Technologies 20 Unlock Company Profile
Stradvision 9 Unlock Company Profile
Avodah 11 Unlock Company Profile
Observe Technologies 16 Unlock Company Profile
KaiKuTeK 11 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

IBM is the leading patent filer in emotion AI, followed by Sony and Microsoft. Other prominent patent filers in the space include NEC, Panasonic, Motorola Solutions, and Honda Motor.

By geographic reach, Drishti Technologies leads the pack, followed by Observe Technologies and eBay. In terms of application diversity, eBay holds the top position, followed by Observe Technologies and Alarmcom.

Emotion AI enables more empathetic and personalized interactions between humans and AI systems. By understanding and responding to human emotions, emotion AI enhances user experiences, improves customer service, and opens opportunities for applications in mental health, education, and various other domains.

To further understand how artificial intelligence is disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Artificial Intelligence (AI).

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.