The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the widespread adoption of capacitive touch switches due to their responsiveness and durability, and ability to operate without physical contact which makes them hygienic and desirable in various industries. The growing importance of projected capacitive (PCAP), surface capacitive and inductive capacitive technologies is further driving innovation in the technology industry. Capacitive touch switches provide seamless, buttonless interfaces that enhance the overall sleekness and modernity of the product, with visually appealing designs. In the last three years alone, there have been over 3.6 million patents filed and granted in the technology industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Technology Innovation: Capacitive touch switches. Buy 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 stabilising 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.

300+ 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 2.5 million patents, there are 300+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, microphone beamforming, live betting games, and quantum dots are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Circuit design testing, smart contracts and surround sound systems are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are vehicle platooning and PCI power management, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the technology industry

Capacitive touch switches is a key innovation area in technology

Capacitive touch switches employ capacitive sensing technology for identifying the proximity of objects without direct contact. They serve as electronic alternatives to mechanical switches, activated when users touch a metal or plastic surface. These switches find application in controlling various electronic devices like lights, motors, and more.

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 50+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of capacitive touch switches.

Key players in capacitive touch switches – a disruptive innovation in the technology industry

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

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

Patent volumes related to capacitive touch switches

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
LG 56 Unlock Company Profile
Apple 51 Unlock Company Profile
Hosiden 32 Unlock Company Profile
Novalia 28 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 26 Unlock Company Profile
CEA 25 Unlock Company Profile
Microchip Technology 24 Unlock Company Profile
TPK 23 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil 22 Unlock Company Profile
Alps Alpine 19 Unlock Company Profile
LG Display 19 Unlock Company Profile
Denso 18 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor Group 16 Unlock Company Profile
Beijing Electronics 16 Unlock Company Profile
Zeppelin-Stiftung 16 Unlock Company Profile
Visteon 16 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 15 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 15 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 13 Unlock Company Profile
Compagnie de Saint-Gobain 12 Unlock Company Profile
Emerson Electric 12 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Electro-Mechanics 11 Unlock Company Profile
Nokia 11 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 11 Unlock Company Profile
Nitto Denko 11 Unlock Company Profile
Leopold Kostal 10 Unlock Company Profile
Eizo 10 Unlock Company Profile
Futaba 10 Unlock Company Profile
Neodron 10 Unlock Company Profile
TactoTek 9 Unlock Company Profile
Fujifilm 9 Unlock Company Profile
Shenzhen Goodix Technology 8 Unlock Company Profile
Sumitomo Chemical 8 Unlock Company Profile
Continental 8 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 8 Unlock Company Profile
IDENT Technology 8 Unlock Company Profile
Tpk Touch Solutions 8 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsui Chemicals 7 Unlock Company Profile
OC Oerlikon 7 Unlock Company Profile
Sumitomo Electric Industries 7 Unlock Company Profile
Xiaomi 7 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Electric 6 Unlock Company Profile
Shanghai Yanfeng Jinqiao Automotive Trim Systems 6 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group 6 Unlock Company Profile
ILJIN 6 Unlock Company Profile
Dexerials 6 Unlock Company Profile
Shenzhen Baoming Technology 6 Unlock Company Profile
Alphabet 5 Unlock Company Profile
Shin-Etsu Chemical 5 Unlock Company Profile
Koch Industries 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Among the companies innovating in capacitive touch switches, LG is a leading patent filer. The company’s patents are aimed at invention describing touch sensor assembly and door including the same. A household appliance that includes a front panel forming an exterior, a display window formed with a plurality of through holes having minute or fine sizes formed at the front panel, and the plurality of through holes are filled with a coating liquid including an anti-foaming agent. The other prominent patent filers in the space include Apple and Hosiden.

In terms of geographical reach, GPEG International leads the pack, followed by Carl Zeiss Stiftung and Siemens. In terms of application diversity, Fujifilm Holdings holds the top position, followed by Nitto Denko and Compagnie de Saint-Gobain.

Capacitive touch switches offer enhanced user experience, sleek design, and easy maintenance. They provide reliable and durable operation without physical contact, making them ideal for hygiene-sensitive environments. Their versatility allows for integration into various surfaces, enabling their application in a wide range of industries and electronic devices.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Technology.

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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.