Printed flexible sensors that efﬁciently detect various stimuli relevant to speciﬁc environmental or biological species have been extensively studied due to their great potential for the Internet of Things and wearable electronics applications. The application of ﬂexible and stretchable electronics to device- engineering technologies has enabled the fabrication of slender, lightweight, stretchable, and foldable sensors. Ultra-thin chip technology is recognized as an enabler for mastering bottlenecks in microelectronics, such as 3D integration, which may give growth opportunities for the market. The use of printed flexible sensors in IoT applications is a significant driver for the market.
- The trend is the expansion of a wearable and flexible sweat-sensing platform toward real-time multiplexed perspiration analysis. An integrated iontophoresis module on a wearable sweat sensor could enable autonomous and programmed sweat extraction. Flexible and stretchable tactile sensors that are printable, nonplanar, and dynamically morphing are emerging to allow proprioceptive interactions with the unstructured surrounding environment.
- According to Studies by the NHS (National Health Service) and CQC (Care Quality Commission), the right use of connected health technology condensed death rates by 45%, A&E visits by 15%, and emergency hospital admissions by 20%. From in-vivo sensors, wearable technology, to reusable medical devices, companies help gain from advances in printed flexible sensors to improve care and provide a better patient experience.
- The flexible printed sensors can deliver unique solutions in the context of an aging population, getting healthcare closer to the patient, and strengthening healthcare costs. The capability to incorporate power sources (thin batteries, RF induction, and energy harvesting), sensors (chemical, electrical, optical, and MEMS) and RF (components and communications) in flexible, thin, and comfortably wearable formats will be necessary.
- Progression in demand for Energy-efficient, thin, and flexible consumer electronics products is driving the growth of the market. As printed electronics is a future technology, it is playing a principal role in the design and development of printed and flexible sensors technology. The growth of printed sensors has raised the need for flexible circuits. The demand for these kinds of circuits has developed, especially in consumer electronics.
- Repeated delays in commercialization of printed flexible sensor technologies attributable to materials and manufacturing challenges have affected large established electronics firms as well as startups. These difficulties underscore the reality that widespread commercialization will require further advances in manufacturing technology, materials, equipment, and processes.
Key Market Trends
Consumer Electronics Drives the Printed Flexible Sensor Market
- Printed flexible consumer electronics find progressively more interesting applications that exploit the use of sensors. Large-area, flexibility, conformability, and stretchability made possible by unique processes contribute to form-factors that are extraordinary in electronics, allowing an added natural interaction between electronics and the human body and making it possible to pick up e.g., biopotentials, movements and vital signs like oxygen saturation in the blood.
- Flexible fingerprint sensors can be integrated into products like mobile phones, wearables, bringing capabilities to biometric applications, as there is an augmented necessity for ultra-thin sensors that can be applied to non-flat surfaces, and that can be mass-produced over large areas. For instance, FlexEnable Limited has industrialized the world's first 500 dpi flexible fingerprint sensor on a plastic substrate, allowing for small and large area fingerprint scanning.
- The consumer demand for flexible printed wearables has increased rapidly with the advent of recent commercial health monitoring systems. For example, flexible temperature sensors developed with metallic tracks printed on polymer substrates typically rely on the variation of metal resistance with temperature; and the pressure sensor commonly operates via the resistance changing when pressure is applied.
- With many industries investing significantly in IoT devices, coupled with the decreasing usage of IoT sensors, a substantial increase in the need for wearable devices, across many sectors, is anticipated. This is supposed to significantly boost the market growth for wearable sensors in the foreseeable future.
- For instance, smartwatch unit sales increased from 5 million in 2014 to 141 million in 2018, according to the Consumer Technology Association. Besides, according to Cisco Systems, the number of connected wearable devices globally has more than doubled in three years, growing from 325 million in 2016 to 722 million in 2019. The number of devices is projected to reach more than one billion by 2022.
North America Holds a Dominant Position in Printed Flexible Sensor Market
- North America has world-class firms with equipment, process technologies, competencies, and intellectual property pertinent to flexible and printed electronics, and numerous of them are engaged in substantial precompetitive research and development (R&D), the region enjoys many advantages in the emerging field of flexible printed sensors.
- The U.S. defense establishment, which has promoted many thriving high-technology industries, has been interested in flexible sensor technologies for military usage and that it will support the growth of the necessary research infrastructure. Several U.S. states that are at the front of U.S. innovation have recognized research centers for flexible and printed sensors.
- The U.S. federal government is encouraging the development of U.S. competences in printed flexible electronics through various institutional channels in the civilian, defense, and dual-use spheres. Government procurement, which has played a vital role in the early-stage development of several U.S. high-technology industries, epitomizes a potentially valuable source of initial demand-pull.
- In the United States, the total power capacity of installed solar photovoltaic (PV) panels is around 60 gigawatts, an amount expected to double in the next five years. Improvements in PV panel technology have driven down the price of solar electricity, making it cost-competitive with other power sources in many parts of North America.
- According to a study of the University of Michigan, United States could get 40% of its electricity from solar windows. Semi-transparent, reliable, and efficient, scalable organic solar cells for building integrated applications in the U.S. hopes to produce a 50% transparent project on rolls at low costs and quickly.
- With cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 still on the rise, a modest growth rate in the electronics market was witnessed globally. After the pandemic, the global electronics industry has faced a dual impact. The production facilities of the electronics parts have been halted owing to the logistics slowdown and unavailability of the workforce across the globe, which in the long run, would impact the printed flexible sensors market.
- As per recent data from the IPC Fast Facts Surveysurvey, 40% of the global electronics manufacturers and suppliers believed that consumer electronics were likely to be the most impacted industry due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. A further 24% of respondents claimed they expected industrial electronics to be most impacted, with 19% suggesting that the automotive electronics segment would be the hardest hit.
- On the other hand, various e-commerce companies all across the globe have discontinued the delivery of non-essential items (including most of the electronics products), which is affecting the electronics industry, consequently, the printed flexible electronics sector.
The market for the printed flexible sensors is highly concentrated and consists of a few significant players. In terms of market share, few of these major players currently dominate the market. Various companies are focusing on organic and inorganic growth strategies such as product launches, product approvals, patents, acquisitions, and partnerships. These influential players with a noticeable share in the market are concentrating on expanding their customer base across foreign countries. These businesses are leveraging strategic collaborative actions to improve their market percentage and enhance their profitability.
- April 2020 - Canatu Oy co-created a future driving experience with the launch of the Origo Steering Wheel concept. The new Origo Steering Wheel concept replaces multiple mechanical controls in different locations with novel, 3-dimensional touch sensors that are integrated into the steering wheel and easily operated by thumb, providing a natural, smartphone-like interaction.
- July 2019 - Isorg and Sumitomo Chemical, announced their agreement to develop new OPD products for use as smartphone fingerprint sensors and hybrid organicCMOS image sensors. Isorg will license its technology processes to its OEMs. At the same time, Sumitomo Chemical will manufacture the dedicated organic semiconductor material, as well as support Isorg in terms of production technology and marketing.
Reasons to Purchase this report:
- The market estimate (ME) sheet in Excel format
- 3 months of analyst support