The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the increasing adoption of smart home devices and remote control entertainment systems, and   growing importance of technologies such as infrared transmitters and receivers, encoding and decoding protocols, and user-friendly interfaces. The compact size, low cost, and simplicity of implementation make infrared remote control a widely used and accessible technology for device control and automation in both residential and commercial settings. 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: Infrared-remote control. 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

Infrared-remote control is a key innovation area in technology

Infrared remote control is a wireless control mechanism that utilises infrared radiation to remotely operate devices. By emitting coded pulses of infrared light, it establishes communication with the target device. This method allows users to conveniently control various electronic devices from a distance.

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 infrared-remote control.

Key players in infrared-remote control – 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 infrared-remote control

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
East West Manufacturing 139 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 91 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 63 Unlock Company Profile
LG 59 Unlock Company Profile
Sonos 39 Unlock Company Profile
Xiaomi 35 Unlock Company Profile
Alphabet 28 Unlock Company Profile
Midea 21 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Electric 20 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 20 Unlock Company Profile
Hon Hai Precision Industry 19 Unlock Company Profile
Koninklijke Philips 18 Unlock Company Profile
Savant Systems 17 Unlock Company Profile
ZTE 14 Unlock Company Profile
I-Interactive 14 Unlock Company Profile
Signify 13 Unlock Company Profile
Xperi 13 Unlock Company Profile
View 13 Unlock Company Profile
AT&T 13 Unlock Company Profile
Fortive 13 Unlock Company Profile
SZ DJI Technology 12 Unlock Company Profile
Apple 12 Unlock Company Profile
Sharp 12 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 10 Unlock Company Profile
Remote Technologies 10 Unlock Company Profile
Beijing Electronics 10 Unlock Company Profile
Fm Marketing 9 Unlock Company Profile
Logitech International 9 Unlock Company Profile
Eaton 8 Unlock Company Profile
Johnson & Johnson 8 Unlock Company Profile
PixArt Imaging 8 Unlock Company Profile
Guest-Tek Interactive Entertainment 8 Unlock Company Profile
Gree Electric Appliances 7 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 7 Unlock Company Profile
Nidec 7 Unlock Company Profile
Legend 6 Unlock Company Profile
DISH Network 6 Unlock Company Profile
Groupe SEB 6 Unlock Company Profile
Ceva 6 Unlock Company Profile
Mattel 6 Unlock Company Profile
Hewlett Packard Enterprise 6 Unlock Company Profile
MARPOSS 6 Unlock Company Profile
Maxell 6 Unlock Company Profile
Socionext 5 Unlock Company Profile
Sichuan Changhong Electric 5 Unlock Company Profile
Microsoft 5 Unlock Company Profile
EchoStar 5 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 5 Unlock Company Profile
Roper Technologies 5 Unlock Company Profile
Aplix IP 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

East West Manufacturing is a leading patent filer in the infrared-remote control space. One of the company’s patents describes two remote control applications. The first application is used on a smart device to transmit commands for controlling a controllable appliance when a user interacts with the device's interface. The second application is used on a bridge device to transmit commands to the controllable appliance based on the commands received from the smart device. The commands are transmitted using different protocols: the smart device uses a first transmission protocol, while the bridge device uses a protocol compatible with the controllable appliance.

Other prominent patent filers in the space include Samsung Group and SonyGroup.

By geographic reach, Savant Systems leads the pack, followed by View and Hewlett Packard Enterprise. In terms of application diversity, Shenzhen Galaxywind Network Systems holds the top position, followed by MARPOSS and Beijing Electronics.

Infrared remote control provides convenient and efficient control over a wide range of electronic devices. With the use of infrared radiation, users can operate devices such as televisions, air conditioners, DVD players, and audio systems from a comfortable distance. Infrared remote control eliminates the need for direct physical contact with the device, offering convenience, ease of use, and flexibility in device operation. It enhances user experience by providing a simple and intuitive interface for controlling multiple functions and settings.

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.