The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the advancements in display technology, the demand for enhanced image processing in fields like medical imaging and computer graphics, and the proliferation of high-resolution content creation, and growing importance of technologies such as deep learning, neural networks and generative adversarial networks (GANs). 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 Innovation in technology: digital image interpolation. 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 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, network-on-a-chip, in-memory computing, and aural exciters are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Electron beam lithography, OLED pixel compensation circuits, and PCI power management are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are capacitive touch panels and emergency communications network, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the technology industry

Digital image interpolation is a key innovation area in technology

Digital image interpolation involves augmenting the resolution or dimensions of a digital image by approximating the absent data points that lie between existing pixels. It is a widely employed method in image processing to elevate image clarity and refine visual intricacies, achieved by generating additional pixels using information from neighboring pixel values.

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 30+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of digital image interpolation.

Key players in digital image interpolation – 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 digital image interpolation

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Silicon Motion Technology 8 Unlock Company Profile
Fujifilm 26 Unlock Company Profile
Qualcomm 7 Unlock Company Profile
Spreadtrum Communications (Shanghai) 8 Unlock Company Profile
Texas Instruments 7 Unlock Company Profile
BYD 4 Unlock Company Profile
Apple 24 Unlock Company Profile
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique 2 Unlock Company Profile
JVCKENWOOD 3 Unlock Company Profile
MegaChips 11 Unlock Company Profile
Olympus 27 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Electric 4 Unlock Company Profile
Silicon Hive 4 Unlock Company Profile
Intuitive Surgical 4 Unlock Company Profile
Canon 32 Unlock Company Profile
Realtek Semiconductor 3 Unlock Company Profile
Basler 18 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Electro-Mechanics 3 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 58 Unlock Company Profile
STMicroelectronics 3 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba 2 Unlock Company Profile
Intel 14 Unlock Company Profile
GoPro 16 Unlock Company Profile
Blackmagic Design 10 Unlock Company Profile
SZ DJI Technology 8 Unlock Company Profile
INUITIVE 4 Unlock Company Profile
Oppo 3 Unlock Company Profile
Raytheon 2 Unlock Company Profile
Guangdong Oppo Mobile Telecommunications 48 Unlock Company Profile
Centre National Research Scientific 6 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Among the companies innovating in digital image interpolation, Guangdong Oppo Mobile Telecommunications is one of the leading patents filers. The company’s patents are aimed at describing the control technique for an electronic device involves directing an image sensor to produce both a combined image and a color-blocked version of the same scene. A specific area is identified in the combined image based on user input. The color-blocked image is transformed into an imitation image, while the combined image is converted into a restored version. In the color-blocked image, a designated region is processed using a first interpolation method, corresponding to the identified area. Meanwhile, in the combined image, a different area outside the identified region is processed using a second interpolation method. The final imitation image is generated by merging the first imitation image with the restored version. This method is applicable to an electronic device.  Other prominent patent filers in the space include Canon and Olympus.

In terms of application diversity, Olympus leads the pack, while  Inuitive and Fujifilm stood in second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Guangdong Oppo Mobile Telecommunications held the top position, followed by GoPro and Spreadtrum Communications. 

Digital image interpolation, by estimating missing data points between existing pixels, allows for the augmentation of image resolution and size. This technology finds extensive applications in fields like computer graphics, medical imaging, and computer vision. It enables the creation of higher-quality images, facilitating clearer visual representations and improving the effectiveness of various image processing tasks. Additionally, digital image interpolation is instrumental in tasks like super-resolution, image inpainting, and edge-preserving techniques, making it a critical tool in modern image processing applications.

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.