The digital compass market is expected to witness considerable growth over the forecast period. Growth is largely driven by the insistent demand for handheld electronic devices such as watches, smartphones, tablets, GPS, and other connected devices.
Rising demand for simpler user interfaces and better access to technologies have resulted in the development of digital compass. Its use in navigation has become a standard requirement in smartphones, gaming devices, and tablets, which in turn is expected to substantially increase market growth.
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With the introduction of GPS, digital compasses still hold its virtue due to the fact that GPS is itself a fairly limited technology. A GPS by itself is just able to provide the information where the device is. The GPS cannot determine the direction in which the device is facing; in order to determine the direction, the GPS should be moving. As compasses do not rely on GPS signals to determine the direction, they are a vital part of GPS device, thereby driving their growth over the forecast period.
In a basic form, electronic compasses naturally accompany navigation features of GPS in portable navigation devices. Electronic compasses enhance the positioning of GPS devices by providing directional information with significant built-in accuracy, making it considerably useful in location-based services and other applications. Key application areas include industrial, personal, construction, transportation, and military applications.
The incoming deployment of new standards such as LTE and LTE-A has a negative impact on RF components of conventional devices, and is envisioned to open new opportunities for online services and location-based tracking services using increased amount of sensors.
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An innovation in location-based service vertical is the launch of “View,” an application for smartphones. Through this application, using smartphone’s camera and compass, users can point a smartphone to an object such as an apartment and retrieve relevant information on nearby places of interest such as malls, theatres, and shops.
Sony’s move controller for PlayStation 3 and the next-gen controller for Nintendo Wii are expected to feature three sensors in order to deliver smoother, more stable, more accurate, and faster motion control along with Quality of Experience (QoE).
The intermediary verticals in the value chain include suppliers, component manufacturers, integrators as well as end-users.
Suppliers include the vendors of raw materials such as equipment, wafer, and materials, which are used to manufacture hardware of electronic compasses. Key suppliers in the industry include Applied Materials, SUSS MicroTec, ASML Corp., SCHOTT, MEMS Star, and Praxair.
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