The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the increasing adoption of IoT devices across various industries, driving the need for seamless and localized communication, and growing importance of technologies such as low-power wireless communication protocols, edge computing for decentralized processing, and IoT platforms for seamless integration and management of devices, collectively driving advancements in IoT device-to-device (D2D) communication solutions. 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 Internet of Things in technology: D2D communication. 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, real-time fault monitoring, smart inspection, and physiological monitoring are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Smart window screens, smart lighting, and multi-sensor collision avoidance are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas is NFC broadcasting, which is now well established in the industry.
Innovation S-curve for Internet of Things in the technology industry
D2D communication is a key innovation area in Internet of Things
Device-to-device communication involves direct interaction between two devices, bypassing the necessity for intermediaries such as base stations or access points. This is made possible through wireless technologies such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, offering the potential to enhance network capacity, minimize latency, and introduce novel services.
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 90+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of D2D communication.
Key players in D2D communication – 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 D2D communication
|Company||Total patents (2010 - 2022)||Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies|
|ZTE||181||Unlock Company Profile|
|Deutsche Telekom||21||Unlock Company Profile|
|Qualcomm||601||Unlock Company Profile|
|InterDigital||138||Unlock Company Profile|
|MediaTek||39||Unlock Company Profile|
|Apple||618||Unlock Company Profile|
|Hyundai Motor||26||Unlock Company Profile|
|Mitsubishi Electric||20||Unlock Company Profile|
|Panasonic||29||Unlock Company Profile|
|Kyocera||139||Unlock Company Profile|
|Network-1 Technologies||65||Unlock Company Profile|
|Acer||20||Unlock Company Profile|
|Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson||550||Unlock Company Profile|
|Sony Group||206||Unlock Company Profile|
|Sharp||123||Unlock Company Profile|
|KT||36||Unlock Company Profile|
|Kia||18||Unlock Company Profile|
|NEC||273||Unlock Company Profile|
|Intel||2077||Unlock Company Profile|
|Innovative Technology Lab||26||Unlock Company Profile|
|Convida Wireless||95||Unlock Company Profile|
|Neul||56||Unlock Company Profile|
|Guangdong Oppo Mobile Telecommunications||206||Unlock Company Profile|
|Vivo Communication Technology||26||Unlock Company Profile|
|Verisure Sàrl||21||Unlock Company Profile|
|Verizon Patent And Licensing||21||Unlock Company Profile|
|Sca Ipla||26||Unlock Company Profile|
|ELG Electronic Kft||46||Unlock Company Profile|
|Shanghai Langbo Communication Technology||32||Unlock Company Profile|
|Honor Device||18||Unlock Company Profile|
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Among the companies innovating in D2D communication, Intel is one of the leading patents filers. The company’s patent is describing a special kind of network for devices like those used in the Internet of Things (IoT). The network helps these devices talk to a bigger network in a way that's fast and efficient. It uses a special set of rules that make the messages shorter and easier to understand. Other prominent patent filers in the space include Apple and Qualcomm.
In terms of application diversity, Network-1 Technologies held the top position, while Deutsche Telekom and Verisure stood in second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographical reach, Neul leads the pack, followed by Intel and Network-1 Technologies.
Device-to-device communication in the IoT is highly significant as it allows devices to directly communicate with one another, bypassing the need for central hubs. This not only improves efficiency and reduces latency, but also enables localized interactions, which are crucial for applications such as smart cities, industrial automation, and healthcare.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Internet of Things.