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Adaptive Optics: Technologies and Global Markets

  • June 2014
  • 229 pages
  • BCC Research
Report ID: 2171939

Summary

Table of Contents

This BCC Research report gives a 10-year study of the global market growth potential of adaptive optics (AO) systems. It provides details of AO revenues through 2022 for scientific researches along with military, medical, industrial, and consumer industries. Present findings on the technology, commercial drivers in the deployment of AO systems, nature of competition and the issues faced by vendors have also been covered in this report.

Use this report to:
- Receive detailed analysis of the global adaptive optics (AO) systems market.
- Receive information on the technology and commercial drivers for the deployment of AO systems in applied scientific research, military, medical, industrial and consumer markets.
- Receive information on regulatory issues of the industry.
- Receive information on the nature of the competition and the major competitive issues being faced by vendors in these markets.

Highlights
- The global market for adaptive optics (AO) systems reached $139 million in 2013. This market is expected to grow to $157 million in 2014 and about $40.7 billion in 2022, a
compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 87.9% over the nine-year period from 2013 to 2022.
- Military, as a segment, reached $81 million in 2013. It is projected to grow to $756 million in 2022, with a CAGR of 28.2% over the nine-year period from 2013 to 2022.
- Medical, as a segment, reached $30 million in 2013. It is projected to grow to $9.4 billion in 2022, with a CAGR of 89.5% over the nine-year period from 2013 to 2022.

INTRODUCTION

STUDY GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
This report will take a 10-year look at the global market growth potential for adaptive optics (AO) systems. The report will also present findings on the technology and
commercial drivers for the deployment of AO systems in applied scientific research, military, medical, industrial and consumer markets. It provides forecasts of the growth
of AO revenues through 2022 for the scientific research, military, medical, industrial and consumer industries.

AO has emerged from the shadows of astronomy research because of its stunning success in allowing large ground-based telescopes to outperform highly publicized
space-based systems such as Hubble. It does this by removing aberrations from starlight caused by the Earth’s atmosphere. AO can be used to improve the quality of
any image, whether presented to the human retina or for further processing in other image capture systems such as machine vision (MV) or additive manufacturing (AM)
systems.

AO is a fast developing optical system technology that will affect a broad range of industries. Although the concept is simple, it is currently a complex system technology.
However, the potential for system simplification and cost reduction has far-reaching implications and creates real commercial opportunities. This report will try to balance
just enough technical information with commercial factors. It will provide a broad understanding of how AO can be integrated into many different products and industries.

It is important to note that, for the purposes of this report, the definition of an AO system is “a system technology that achieves the desired goal of adding or removing
aberrations to or from light wavefronts to improve image clarity and resolution for delivery to a vision system, biological or machine.” Thus, the current complexity can be
simplified with dramatic system cost reductions.

REASONS FOR DOING THE STUDY
The human eye is sensitive to display quality and AO provides a significant improvement in display clarity. Each individual’s eyes have different aberration profiles
and AO can compensate for this on an individual basis. This is a major driver for the consumer market. Technologies are being developed that will reduce AO system costs
to a level appropriate for consumer markets and applications. The markets for these applications are, or will become, very competitive. This report looks into the nature of
the competition and the major competitive issues facing vendors in these markets.

Although the integration of AO systems into consumer products was practically nonexistent in 2013, this will change quite rapidly as system costs decrease
dramatically. Current markets for AO systems are primarily the scientific research, military and medical industries. Academia, government and industry are keen to see
AO component costs driven down to consumer levels (see Appendix II). It is important that vendors understand the market dynamics and potential for AO, as consumer
growth will be explosive. The development of new products and technologies that benefit from AO makes this more complicated for decision makers. Vendors need to
understand the market forces and technology integration possibilities of AO in order to take advantage of consumer products integration.

SCOPE OF REPORT
The primary scope of this report is to investigate market revenue growth prospects for AO systems. These include near eye displays, mobile displays, machine vision,
adaptive driver assistance systems (ADAS) for automobiles, medical systems and emerging markets such as 3D printing. The report forecasts growth of existing AO
markets, including scientific research applications, medical and military applications. It also includes estimates of the system cost reductions resulting from technology
developments and the economies of manufacturing consumer quantities of components.

Various factors were taken into account in making the market forecast, including new technologies, and the rate of technology and market adoption with realistic
assessments of the role of AO as a disruptive as well as a sustaining technology. The report will look at how the development of new technologies affects price and
performance. In some cases, the need for the highest quality AO system will mean system prices remain high. However, the introduction of new materials and
technologies will enable AO systems to be integrated into high-volume consumer products.

Recent advances in materials technology, including graphene, electrically sensitive polymers and other materials, can dramatically reduce the cost of components.
Advances in the interrogation and modulation of an aberrated wavefront offer reduced cost and increased speed. These and other advantages provide large cost reductions
for applications in the medical, military, industrial and consumer segments. The report also recognizes major global social and economic trends and their impact on
market growth as drivers of technology development in all market segments.

CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE STUDY AND INTENDED AUDIENCE
This study takes a first look at how a scientific research technology will play a disruptive role in vision delivery systems over the next 10 years. The report reviews
emerging technologies that will benefit from AO, and it should be read by any organization engaged in research or product development involving video or image
display, manipulation or redirection. This includes developers of smartphones, smart cameras, entertainment systems, ophthalmoscopy devices, endoscopic devices,
eyewear and other near eye displays, additive manufacturing systems such as machine vision and 3D printing and automobile manufacturers.

It will also be of interest to nanosystem researchers. The ability of AO systems to provide real-time high-resolution manipulation of objects at the molecular scale
provides great flexibility in manipulating nanosystem architectures. For example, AO-enhanced optical tweezers have been used to manipulate DNA.

Also included is a brief review of the patent landscape. It includes the rate of AO-related patent submissions, as well as a note of significant intellectual property (IP)
relating to AO. Although an analysis of patents within the various system component technologies would be helpful, it is beyond the scope of this report. However, the IP
issue can be a game changer both ways. It can be a serious barrier to market entry at the same time as stimulating novel and innovative ways to overcome the technical and
IP challenges in developing effective, low-cost AO systems. Finally, the study will be of value to the investment community as a tool to measure
the financial potential for new technology, product and distribution investment opportunities in the field of AO.

METHODOLOGY
Primary and secondary methodologies were used for this report. BCC Research conducted a comprehensive literature search, including technical newsletters, optics
industry associations and their publications. Data were collected through interviews with industry executives and through research at a major photonics trade show,
Photonics West, San Francisco, in Feb. 2014. Projections are based on estimates and a synthesis of many individual market forecasts and trends analysis. Due to the newness
of AO in a market deployment sense, an extensive forecast model was developed to ensure that individual market segment forecasts are internally consistent.

INFORMATION SOURCES
Data for this study was obtained from direct contact with manufacturers, very often from C-level executives, industry associations, government agencies and a number of
databases, including Factiva, EBSCO, ProQuest, JAMA, JSTOR and ABI Inform. Several hundred individual research reports, Ph.D. thesis papers, journals, indexes, abstracts,
press releases and product literatures were reviewed. In addition to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), several online patent databases were polled to
uncover the intellectual property activity concerning AO.

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