Table of Contents
A user interface is the gateway between the user and an electronic device. User interfaces have developed alongside such devices using new technologies to provide increasingly simple means of interaction. Since the emergence of the smartphone, touch has been the primary interface technology, developing over time from single-point touch to multi-touch gestures. Touch will remain the primary user interface in smartphones, tablets, and smart watches, and haptics will also remain widely used. However, the future of mobile devices lies in multi-modal interfaces.
Over the next several years, voice will grow in importance as an interface technology and will be the major secondary interface for mobile devices. The hardware and software needed to run aural interface technologies are already well developed, and there is strong momentum toward greater integration of voice integration in devices and apps. Well-established and emerging use cases, such as virtual digital assistants (VDAs), hands-free use, and always-on interfaces, will drive increasing use of speech recognition technologies. Visual technologies, such as gesture recognition and eye tracking, are further out on the horizon, as hardware and software improvements are still required and more progress must be made on developing compelling applications for smartphones and tablets. Other technologies are being developed as alternatives to visual gesture recognition, such as using ultrasound, which may take over as the technology develops.
This Tractica report examines the market and technology issues surrounding interface technologies for mobile devices and then presents forecasts for interface hardware and software covering the period from 2014 through 2020. Interface technologies and applications are analyzed in depth, and the report also includes detailed profiles of 24 key industry players. Market forecasts, segmented by mobile device type and world region, include four major interface groups and provide unit shipments and attach rates for eight technology segments.
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