The market of miniature and micro spectrometers is evolving fast. The technology is getting ever smaller and cheaper while keeping high performances. The market is attracting new players: spin-offs from major research institutes, large companies outside the classic spectroscopy market, software providers with innovative analytical solutions, …
The goal of this involvement is to bring spectroscopy closer to the end-users and provide spectrometers able to operate on-field or in-line. The high potential of compact spectrometers is recognized for a wide variety of applications: chemistry, pharmaceutics, agro-food, agriculture, forensics, healthcare, consumer applications, … But its emergence as a large volume market faces a major bottleneck. Each application implies specific processes and analyses and specific parameters to control, i.e. a specific interpretation of the raw spectra in order to provide information usable by nonphotonic experts.
Who is going to pay for that adaptation effort? Are there ways for reducing the adaptation costs, by means of selflearning algorithms and/or flexible and easily adaptable sensors? In other words, who is going to catch the value?
In this article, we will investigate the potential of each major industrial application market and provide market data. We will also wonder, what are the strengths and weaknesses of the different players - spectrometer manufacturers, algorithms developers, full-systems providers, … - to catch the value of the compact spectrometer market.
Optics components entered in the automotive vehicle one century ago with headlamps and since then move towards even more sophisticated designs in lighting functions. Photonics sensors are just entering now in this market through driver assistance, in complement of incumbent ultrasonic and radar technologies. Gain of market shares is expected for this components with autonomous driving, that was few years ago a nice dream and whose early results exceed surprisingly expectations of roadmaps and historic OEM have quickly joined the course launched by Google Company 5 years ago. Technological components, among them CMOS camera followed by Laser Scanners, cost-effective flash LIDAR are already experimenting their first miles in real condition and new consumers in South Asia plebiscite this new way to drive cars .The issue is still for photonics companies to move from well suited technological solution to mass-production components with corresponding cost reduction. MEMS components that follow the same curve 15 years ago (with market entries in airbags, tire pressure monitoring systems…) experimented the hard pressure on price for wide market adoption. Besides price, which is a CFO issue, photonic technologies will keep in place if they can both reassure OEM CEO and let CTO and designers dream. Reassurance will be through higher level of standardization and reliability of these components whereas dream will be linked to innovative sensing application, e.g spectroscopy.
First introduced in the 1990's, miniature optical spectrometers were compact, portable devices brought on the market by the desire to move from time-consuming lab-based analyses to on-field and in situ measurements. This goal of getting spectroscopy into the hands of non-specialists is driving current technical and application developments, the ultimate goal being, in a far future, the integration of a spectrometer into a smartphone or any other smart device (tablet, watch, …). In this article, we present the results of our study on the evolution of the compact spectrometers market towards widespread industrial use and consumer applications. Presently, the main market of compact spectrometers remains academic labs. However, they have been adopted on some industrial applications such as optical source characterization (mainly laser and LEDs). In a near future, manufacturers of compact spectrometers target the following industrial applications: agriculture crop monitoring, food process control or pharmaceuticals quality control. Next steps will be to get closer to the consumer market with point-of-care applications such as glucose detection for diabetics, for example. To reach these objectives, technological breakthroughs will be necessary. Recent progresses have already allowed the release of micro-spectrometers. They take advantage of new micro-technologies such as MEMS (MicroElectroMechanical Systems), MOEMS (Micro-Opto-Electro-Mechanical Systems), micro-mirrors arrays to reduce cost and size while allowing good performance and high volume manufacturability. Integrated photonics is being investigated for future developments. It will also require new business models and new market approaches. Indeed, spreading spectroscopy to more industrial and consumer applications will require spectrometers manufacturers to get closer to the end-users and develop application-oriented products.
The development of Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) systems started in the 1990's. The technology early found its
application in Ophthalmology. Today more than 75% of the OCT market comes from the ophthalmic sector. However
the growth of the ophthalmology OCT market has been slowing down for the last years. In this article, we present the
results of our prospective study on the drivers of the OCT market growth in the coming years, based on bibliographical
research and interviews with key players.
In parallel of being used for ophthalmology, OCT has been developed and tested in new medical domains like
cardiology, dermatology, gastroenterology, etc. OCT addresses key societal challenges such as the diagnosis of coronary
artery diseases or skin cancer. There is a strong demand for fast, high-resolution, label-free and in vivo imaging tools in
these fields. For the last 5 years, RD efforts have been focused on improving the performance and the compactness of
OCT components and sub-systems. Advances in integrated photonics will enable the miniaturization of components and
sub-systems and thus pave the way to Point-of-Care applications. Moreover the developments of new functionalities of
OCT systems are undertaken to reach more complex diagnosis. OCT will no longer be a simple imaging device, it is on
the verge of becoming a quantitative measurement tool.
Our study shows that the emergence of new applications along with the improvements of components performance and
the progress of functional OCT will drive the OCT market growth in the coming years.
The objective of our work  was to determine the opportunities and challenges for Terahertz application development for the next years with a focus on systems: for homeland security and for Non Destructive Testing (NDT). Terahertz radiation has unique abilities and has been the subject of extensive research for many years. Proven concepts have emerged for numerous applications including Industrial NDT, Security, Health, Telecommunications, etc. Nevertheless, there has been no widely deployed application and Businesses based on THz technologies are still in their infancy. Some technological, market and industrial barriers are still to be broken. We summarize the final analysis and data: study of the technology trends and major bottlenecks per application segment, main challenges to be addressed in the next years, key opportunities for THz technologies based on market needs and requirements.