The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the creasing demand for hands-free information access, the need for enhanced situational awareness, advancements in IoT connectivity and sensor technologies, and growing importance of technologies related to wireless connectivity, IoT platforms, sensors, augmented reality (AR), and data analytics. 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 Innovation in Internet of Things: Head-mounted HUDs. 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, environmental sensors, digital twins, and network-on-a-chip are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Intelligent embedded systems, smart factory and smart grids are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are contactless verification and wearable physiological monitors, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for IoT in the technology industry

Head-mounted HUDs is a key innovation area in IoT

Head-mounted head-up displays (HUDs) are visual displays that users wear on their head or helmet. These displays enable users to access information without the need to divert their attention from their ongoing tasks. Head-mounted HUDs find widespread application in military, aviation, and industrial sectors.

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 10+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of head-mounted HUDs.

Key players in head-mounted HUDs – 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 head-mounted HUDs

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Microsoft 34 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 27 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 22 Unlock Company Profile
Alphabet 21 Unlock Company Profile
Qualcomm 17 Unlock Company Profile
Magic Leap 14 Unlock Company Profile
Xiaomi 13 Unlock Company Profile
Nokia 11 Unlock Company Profile
Osterhout Group 7 Unlock Company Profile
Empire Technologies 7 Unlock Company Profile
Jgb Collateral 7 Unlock Company Profile
Seiko Epson 6 Unlock Company Profile
Meta Platforms 6 Unlock Company Profile
Apple 6 Unlock Company Profile
Snap 6 Unlock Company Profile
Kopin 6 Unlock Company Profile
Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson 5 Unlock Company Profile
GoerTek 5 Unlock Company Profile
Becton Dickinson 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Microsoft is one of the leading patent filers in head-mounted HUDs. The company leverages cloud and AR technologies to develop an improved method for caching image data in a head-mounted display (HMD) system used for augmented, mixed, or virtual reality.

The method involves pre-fetching and storing compressed and decompressed GPU image data in different caches. These caches are used to construct an output image based on late stage reprojections (LSR) that correct for movement of the HMD during image rendering. The method includes fetching and processing the image data in a specific order and using LSR transformations to construct the final output image. This approach enhances the efficiency and accuracy of rendering images on the HMD display.

Other prominent patent filers in the space include Samsung and Sony.

By geographic reach, Osterhout Group leads the pack, followed by Kopin and Nokia. In terms of application diversity, Qualcomm holds the top position, followed by Xiaomi and Kopin. 

 IoT innovation in head-mounted HUDs has revolutionised the way we access and interact with information in various domains such as aviation, automotive, and augmented reality. By integrating IoT technologies, these HUDs can connect to the internet, access real-time data, and provide users with personalised and contextualised information overlays. Major technologies involved in IoT-enabled head-mounted HUDs include wireless connectivity, IoT platforms, sensors, augmented reality (AR), and data analytics.

These technologies collectively enable seamless connectivity, real-time data streaming, and personalised information display, fuelling the growth and adoption of head-mounted HUDs in various industries. To further understand how IoT is disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Internet of Things – Thematic Research.

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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.