The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the increasing demand for accurate and non-destructive analysis in industries such as agriculture, defense, and healthcare, the need for improved quality control and diagnostics, and the advancements in sensor technology and data processing capabilities. The growing importance specialized sensors that are capable of capturing a wide spectral range, sophisticated data analysis algorithms for image processing and spectral analysis, and data fusion techniques to integrate hyperspectral data with other imaging modalities as well as developments in compact and lightweight hyperspectral cameras and the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning techniques, further support the innovation in technology industry. 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: hyperspectral imagingBuy 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, aural exciters, in-memory computing, and network-on-a-chip are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. RAID transmission error detection, projector-camera system, and hyperspectral imaging, and surround sound systems are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are digital image interpolation and distributed RAID drives, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the technology industry

Hyperspectral imaging is a key innovation area in technology

Hyperspectral imaging is an imaging technology that encompasses capturing and analyzing information across the entire electromagnetic spectrum. By utilizing multiple spectral bands, it generates images with high spatial and spectral resolution. This unique capability enables the extraction of more detailed information compared to conventional imaging techniques.

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 hyperspectral imaging.

Key players in hyperspectral imaging – 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 hyperspectral imaging

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
IMEC, VZW 4 Unlock Company Profile
Qualcomm 3 Unlock Company Profile
Viavi Solutions 3 Unlock Company Profile
Lockheed Martin 4 Unlock Company Profile
Corning 4 Unlock Company Profile
Topcon 5 Unlock Company Profile
SILIOS Technologies 2 Unlock Company Profile
Applied Spectral Imaging 2 Unlock Company Profile
Olympus 16 Unlock Company Profile
Koninklijke Philips 2 Unlock Company Profile
BAE Systems 2 Unlock Company Profile
Canon 3 Unlock Company Profile
Vlaamse Instelling voor Technologisch Onderzoek 13 Unlock Company Profile
ROHM 2 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 16 Unlock Company Profile
Nuctech 2 Unlock Company Profile
Boeing 3 Unlock Company Profile
IMEC 14 Unlock Company Profile
Nikon 15 Unlock Company Profile
Seiko Epson 4 Unlock Company Profile
BODKIN DESIGN & ENGINEERING 2 Unlock Company Profile
Sentera 2 Unlock Company Profile
Unispectral 2 Unlock Company Profile
Raytheon 3 Unlock Company Profile
HyperMed Imaging 16 Unlock Company Profile
Triad National Security 2 Unlock Company Profile
Verdant Robotics 2 Unlock Company Profile
Teknologian Tutkimuskeskus VTT 2 Unlock Company Profile
Biosensing Systems 3 Unlock Company Profile
EOVista 2 Unlock Company Profile
Spectricity 2 Unlock Company Profile
Urugus 9 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Among the companies innovating in hyperspectral imaging, Sony Group is the leading patent filer. One of the company’s patents explains the methods and systems for obtaining image information of an organism and using it to calculate a growth index and anticipated harvest time. The image information includes visible and non-visible image data obtained from an image sensor, as well as a set of image data captured from at least two positions using multiple image capture devices.

Other prominent patent filers in the space include Olympus and HyperMed Imaging. HyperMed’s technology utilizes a proprietary form of hyperspectral imaging to assess oximetry in superficial tissue without the requirement of physical contact or injectable contrast. It uses visible light and a spectrometer to image and quantify light absorption in hemoglobin molecules and presents data as color-coded images.

By geographic reach, IMEC leads the pack, followed by VITO and HyperMed Imaging. In terms of application diversity, Verdant Robotics holds the top position, followed by Viavi Solutions and Raytheon Company.

Hyperspectral imaging is an advanced technology that captures and analyses a wide range of electromagnetic wavelengths to obtain detailed spectral information of an object or scene. It enables precise identification and analysis of materials, improving applications in various fields such as agriculture, environmental monitoring, and remote sensing.

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.