The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the increasing demand for immersive virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) applications, the need for more intuitive and realistic user interfaces, and the rising adoption of haptics in various industries such as gaming, healthcare, and automotive. The growing importance of vibration motors, force sensors, and tactile displays that simulate textures and shapes is further driving innovation in the technology industry. Additionally, advanced algorithms and software are utilised to accurately interpret user inputs and deliver precise haptic feedback, ensuring a seamless and immersive interaction between users and digital environments. 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: Haptic feedback I/O interfaces. 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

Haptic feedback I/O interfaces is a key innovation area in technology

Haptic feedback I/O interfaces are devices designed to offer users a tactile experience while interacting with computer systems. This feedback is employed to provide a realistic sense of touch, enabling users to engage with the interface in a more natural and immersive manner. Typically, these interfaces utilise elements such as vibration motors and other tactile components to deliver authentic sensations, including pressure, texture, and movement.

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 40+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of haptic feedback I/O interfaces.

Key players in haptic feedback I/O interfaces – 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 haptic feedback I/O interfaces

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Johnson & Johnson 156 Unlock Company Profile
Behr-Hella Thermocontrol 56 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil 50 Unlock Company Profile
Apple 49 Unlock Company Profile
Kyocera 46 Unlock Company Profile
Dell Technologies 45 Unlock Company Profile
Valeo 21 Unlock Company Profile
Nokia 19 Unlock Company Profile
Fm Marketing 18 Unlock Company Profile
TDK 17 Unlock Company Profile
Denso 15 Unlock Company Profile
Alps Alpine 14 Unlock Company Profile
Immersion 14 Unlock Company Profile
Xperi 14 Unlock Company Profile
Mercedes-Benz Group 13 Unlock Company Profile
Xiaomi 13 Unlock Company Profile
Cirrus Logic 12 Unlock Company Profile
Ningbo Joyson Electronic 12 Unlock Company Profile
Motorola Solutions 12 Unlock Company Profile
Zeppelin-Stiftung 12 Unlock Company Profile
Tokai Rika 11 Unlock Company Profile
Marquardt 10 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 10 Unlock Company Profile
Wacom 10 Unlock Company Profile
Tactus Technology 10 Unlock Company Profile
Murata Manufacturing 9 Unlock Company Profile
Huawei Investment & Holding 8 Unlock Company Profile
CEA 8 Unlock Company Profile
Alphabet 8 Unlock Company Profile
Texas Instruments 8 Unlock Company Profile
Aito 7 Unlock Company Profile
SMK 7 Unlock Company Profile
Saudi Arabian Oil 6 Unlock Company Profile
Legend 6 Unlock Company Profile
Japan Science and Technology Agency 6 Unlock Company Profile
Shenzhen O-film Tech 6 Unlock Company Profile
MiddleGround Capital 6 Unlock Company Profile
1 5 Unlock Company Profile
AAC Technologies 5 Unlock Company Profile
BCS Group 5 Unlock Company Profile
AB Electrolux 5 Unlock Company Profile
China Pacific Insurance 5 Unlock Company Profile
Thales 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Among the companies innovating in haptic feedback I/O interfaces, Behr-Hella Thermocontrol is a leading patent filer. The company’s patents are aimed at invention describing the operating unit for a vehicle, in particular for a vehicle component, is provided with a housing which has an operating element, such as a display for example, and is designed to be secured in a device, in particular in a vehicle dashboard. The operating element is elastically mounted on the housing. An actuator is additionally provided for mechanically exciting the operating element when an operation of the operating element has been detected.

Finally, the operating unit also has a vibration compensating mass which can be mechanically excited by the actuator or by one actuator when an operation of the operating element has been detected and/or which is mounted on the housing and can be moved in order to substantially compensate for forces acting on the housing when the operating element is moved.. The other prominent patent filers in the space include Porsche Automobil Holding and Apple.

In terms of geographical reach, Wacom leads the pack, followed by Shenzhen O-film Tech and Huawei Investment & Holding. In terms of application diversity, Dell Technologies holds the top position, followed by Behr-Hella Thermocontrol and Xperi Holding.

Haptic feedback I/O interfaces have emerged as a game-changing technology, providing users with tactile sensations and feedback in human-computer interactions. These interfaces enable users to feel and interact with virtual objects, enhancing the overall user experience.

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.