The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the increasing demand for accurate and reliable navigation systems in aerospace, defence, and autonomous vehicles, advancements in sensor technology and the need for precise positioning, navigation, and guidance capabilities in applications such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), missiles, and spacecraft. The growing importance of technologies such as microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) sensors, advanced algorithms for sensor fusion and error correction, and miniaturised components for size and weight reduction is further driving innovation in the technology industry. 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: Inertial guidance system. 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, communication, 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

Inertial guidance system is a key innovation area in technology

Inertial guidance systems are navigation systems that employ accelerometers and gyroscopes to precisely measure the linear and rotational acceleration of a vehicle. By utilising this data, these systems can accurately calculate the vehicle's present location, speed, and orientation. Inertial guidance systems find extensive application in various domains, including aircraft, missiles, spacecraft, and submarines, where they play a pivotal role in ensuring accurate navigation, guidance, and control.

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 inertial guidance system.

Key players in inertial guidance system – 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 inertial guidance system

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Honeywell International 30 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 22 Unlock Company Profile
Casio Computer 16 Unlock Company Profile
SZ DJI Technology 15 Unlock Company Profile
X Development 15 Unlock Company Profile
Northrop Grumman 15 Unlock Company Profile
Komatsu 15 Unlock Company Profile
Intel 14 Unlock Company Profile
Qualcomm 13 Unlock Company Profile
TDK 13 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 11 Unlock Company Profile
Atlantic Inertial Systems 11 Unlock Company Profile
Thales 10 Unlock Company Profile
Huawei Investment & Holding 10 Unlock Company Profile
Lockheed Martin 10 Unlock Company Profile
Wing Aviation 8 Unlock Company Profile
Nauto 8 Unlock Company Profile
Sofresud 8 Unlock Company Profile
Trifo 7 Unlock Company Profile
SoftBank Group 6 Unlock Company Profile
Baidu 6 Unlock Company Profile
GoerTek 6 Unlock Company Profile
Here 6 Unlock Company Profile
Focal Point Positioning 6 Unlock Company Profile
Airbus 6 Unlock Company Profile
NEC 6 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 5 Unlock Company Profile
China Southern Power Grid 5 Unlock Company Profile
Raytheon Technologies 5 Unlock Company Profile
Apple 5 Unlock Company Profile
Sharp 5 Unlock Company Profile
STMicroelectronics 5 Unlock Company Profile
Trimble 5 Unlock Company Profile
Boeing 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Honeywell International is a leading patent filer in the field of inertial guidance system. One of the company’s patents describes a method for determining the measured direction of celestial objects with respect to a body using star tracking sensors. The method involves calculating the expected direction of at least one celestial object based on the body's current navigation solution and updating the navigation solution based on the expected direction, measured direction of multiple celestial objects, and output from inertial sensors mounted to the body.Other prominent patent filers in the space include Samsung Group and Casio Computer.

By geographic reach, Sofresud leads the pack, followed by Komatsu and Focal Point Positioning. In terms of application diversity, Komatsu holds the top position, followed by Trifo and The Boeing.

Inertial guidance system has the ability to operate independently of external references, such as GPS signals, making them resilient to signal disruptions or jamming. These systems provide reliable and precise navigation, guidance, and control capabilities by utilising accelerometers and gyroscopes to measure linear and rotational acceleration. Inertial guidance systems are widely used in aircraft, missiles, spacecraft, submarines, and autonomous vehicles, where precise and real-time information is essential for safe and efficient operations.

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.