Since the gesture recognition market is still in its early stages, there are a variety of suppliers around the world that are just emerging as key players. To create a gesture recognition system today, there are multiple companies that own different parts of the build that are then coordinated by the end hardware manufacturer.
JDSU is an example of a company that supplies key technologies for gesture recognition systems that include high-performance diodes, or light source technology, and optical coating technology. These technologies detect and extract information from a person’s movements so that it can be incorporated into a system such as a computer or TV.
Then there are companies that integrate all of the required components to make final gesture recognition sensors in massive quantities. Many of these integrators are in Asia and include eLaser, Foxconn, and Hitachi and Tessera. Companies like PrimeSense and Optrima come into play by providing the secret sauce, or IP design for overall gesture recognition systems.
At the end of the supply chain are major multinational companies in gaming, TV, computing and smart phones who sell customized end products to consumers. Microsoft is the first company to make noise about gesture recognition, and you can expect to hear from other well known companies soon. Microsoft has deemed gesture recognition important enough for two acquisitions, one with Israeli-based 3DV Systems in 2009 and one with California-based Canesta (announced in October 2010).
If you look at the size of the gaming, computing, home entertainment, and mobile phone industries, future business opportunities for gesture recognition are expansive. There are multiple billions of dollars to be made as the technology evolves and companies figure out how to tap these markets. Second and third generation versions of gesture recognition technology are already in the works.
The biggest challenge gesture recognition providers will face is supporting a high volume consumer market while keeping costs down. For example, if smart phone companies decide to put gesture recognition technology in every phone, the supporting suppliers will need to come up with new supply chain approaches that keep pace with rapid demand.
In my final upcoming blog on gesture recognition, I will share thoughts about possible uses for gesture recognition in the future.