The 3D sensor market was valued at US$2.423 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.64% to reach a market size of US$5.576 billion in 2027.
Devices called 3D sensors produce 3D maps of the user’s environment or surroundings in response to the external environment in three dimensions. They are extensively employed in electronic devices to more accurately and thoroughly detail the length, width, and height of real-world objects. These sensors, which can be found in everything from cameras to drones and robots, relay data quickly, use little power, and are portable. Time of flight, structured light, stereo vision, and ultrasound are the technologies included into 3D sensors. The various product types include proximity sensors, temperature sensors, pressure sensors, and image sensors. The growing need for virtualized solutions has increased the use of 3D sensing technology in the robotics sector. Consumer, automotive, drone, and industrial applications all make increasing use of this technology.
Increasing customer demand for 3D-enabled consumer electronics products and declining sensor prices are some of the key factors fueling the market’s expansion. The market will expand as a result of the rising demand for 3D sensors for 3D gaming technology. Due to the extensive usage of 3D sensors and nanotechnology in several applications, the demand for 3D sensors is anticipated to rise throughout the course of the forecast period. One of the main drivers of the market’s expansion is an increase in the need for medical imaging solutions. Other important drivers include an increase in the adoption of image sensors in automobiles and an increase in the demand for security and surveillance systems. Additionally, the market for 3D sensors will see growth due to the increased adoption of 3D depth sensors in various devices and the rising popularity of virtual reality on gaming consoles. The mediocre production quality, however, is likely to limit market expansion during the coming years.
The adoption of 3D sensors in the consumer electronics sector is anticipated to be fueled by the growing integration of AI within the gaming sector
The introduction of augmented reality and virtual reality has greatly increased the appeal of gaming in recent years. The popularity of 3D sensor-based gaming is rising quickly on PCs and gaming consoles. The market for 3D sensors will profit from the increased use of 3D sensors in gaming devices that provide users with a virtual reality experience. Consumer demand for game consoles with virtual reality platforms is rising, improving the gaming experience.
In virtual reality games, the introduction of 3D sensing technology has made it possible for players to control the game with only gestures and without making direct physical contact with the gaming device. Gesture applications convert human gestures (such as those made with the hands, faces, or bodies as a whole) into symbolic instructions for controlling gaming consoles.
The game industry has been incorporating virtual reality and artificial intelligence at a rapid rate throughout the years. To increase user experience and revenue generation prospects, a lot of big game production companies are incorporating virtual reality into their products. For instance, HTC launched its brand-new Vive Cosmos virtual reality headset in India in October 2019. The availability of Oculus Quest and Rift S VR headsets aided the growth of the VR game industry, which in turn is expected to aid the growth of the 3D sensor industry.
Key market developments
Innovative product launches, adaptation across various industry verticals, increased expansion activities, research and development, and market investments, will thereby increase the demand for 3D sensors. For instance,
- January 2021: A 3D solid-state LiDAR sensor for industrial applications has been created as a result of a technical partnership between SICK AG and Hamburg-based Ibeo Automotive Systems GmbH, a specialist in automotive LiDAR. The technology was created by Ibeo to meet automotive regulations; it is completely devoid of moving components and is based on a unique photon laser measurement approach. The measurement produced by the sensor gains a “fourth dimension” via an additional, camera-like reference image.
- March 2021: With the help of a new 3D sensor technology, the automated queue management system (AQMS) at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) has been able to cut wait times to under ten minutes. The AQMS uses internet of things (IoT) technology to precisely count the population in a specific area and proactively check for overcrowding. By providing notifications as needed, it assists ground workers in reinforcing and adhering to service-level requirements and standard operating procedures (SOP).
- April 2021: Tempo, a home fitness system that analyses users’ activity using cutting-edge 3D sensors and AI to deliver a personalised training experience, announced $220 million in new funding. With the additional funding, Tempo will continue to develop its AI and 3D sensor technology in order to improve its cutting-edge, real-time form feedback and user assistance capabilities. Real-time form correction, rep counting, and weight recommendation are all made possible by Tempo’s AI-powered 3D sensors, resulting in a more efficient and safe workout.
- June 2022: Infineon Technologies AG has developed the REAL3TM automotive image sensor, an ISO26262-compliant high-resolution 3D image sensor, in partnership with pmdtechnologies ag, a specialist in 3D time-of-flight systems. Due to the REAL3 sensor’s excellent resolution, it can also be used for camera applications that require a large field of view, like entire front-row passenger monitoring systems. Insightful airbag deployment and restraint systems require accurate estimations of occupant size and weight, as well as very precise data on passenger and seat position, which are made possible by the resulting 3D body models.
The North American region is expected to hold a significant share of the market in the coming years
Given the technology’s early adoption across a variety of end-use sectors in the region, demand in North America is anticipated to rise steadily during the course of the forecast period. Additionally, the development of 3D sensors has advanced, increasing their usefulness in inspection and measurement applications for the heavy manufacturing sector, allowing businesses to reduce production costs and shorten the product development cycle. Additionally, the industry is expanding as a result of the increasing investments being made in the creation of autonomous vehicles. Elaine Chao, secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation, claims that more than 1,400 self-driving cars and trucks are now being tested by more than 80 companies throughout the 36 states of the United States. These factors are likely to increase the demand for 3D sensors in the region.