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Near Eye Displays (NEDs), also known as head mounted displays (HMDs) or wearable displays, project a virtual image into one or both eyes' field of view. To the naked eye, the virtual image appears to be considerably larger than the comparatively small display panel and optics employed to make it. Near-eye displays are the headphones of the display industry, allowing users to create compact, portable and personal viewing experiences. Near-eye displays provide several advantages over standard displays, including their small size, portability, light weight, low power consumption, and ability to be see-through.
Near-eye displays are becoming popular in emerging fields of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and wearable computing. They have the power to create novel experiences that potentially revolutionize applications in aerospace & defense, medical, automotive, consumer, and several other sectors. With the breakout of COVID-19, most manufacturers are focusing their efforts on developing micro-displays for medical applications in order to boost profits. Furthermore, manufacturers are actively involved in developing micro-displays, particularly for application in the healthcare industry.
Augmented Reality is defined as an advanced version of reality that makes use of technology to provide digital information with an image of something. Most commonly known as AR, it is used in applications for smartphones and tablets. On the other hand, Virtual Reality is a technology that creates a simulated environment with the aid of computer technology offering a realistic user interface. It is also referred to as VR and can be artificial, such as being captured or animated and used as a real location in virtual reality. Special 3D programs that allow developers to integrate contextual or digital content with the real world are based on augmented reality apps. Virtual reality deals with the real user experience of the artificial world in an interactive simulated environment.
The Global Near-Eye Display Market size is estimated to be US$ 1.7 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach US$5.3 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 24.7% during the forecast period. The market has a promising growth potential due to several factors, including the emergence of metaverse, surge in the use of OLEDoS microdisplays, and rising adoption of AR and VR devices.
The advent of the Metaverse, as well as increased investments and innovations from technology heavyweights, will play a crucial role in moving the near-eye display market forward in the near future. Due to enhanced qualities such as greater contrast, faster response time, lower weight, more compact size, negligible image blurring, and a wider operational temperature range than LCDs, OLEDoS micro displays are gaining traction. Since they are widely employed in EVFs and HMDs, they have outperformed traditional LCD and LCoS micro display technologies.
Many scientists anticipate that OLEDoS will eventually replace current display technology. As a result, a growing number of companies are engaging in research and development efforts linked to OLEDoS technology. OLEDoS technology-based displays are offered by Kopin Corporation and SeeYA Technology Corporation, among others. OLED technology-based near-eye displays are fabricated on a silicon surface called silicon-based OLED or OLEDoS. This technology has a driving circuit based on semiconductor CMOS silicon rather than the TFT line. Hence, the technology has better specifications in terms of resolution and size than other technologies deployed in near-eye displays.
Also, market players have started adopting organic growth strategies to strengthen their portfolio of OLEDoS technology-based near-eye display products. For example, SeeYA Technology started manufacturing OLEDoS displays for smart wearables in 2020. Therefore, the market for OLEDoS technology-based near-eye displays is likely to grow at the fastest rate during the forecast period.
Moreover, with the ongoing advancements in the healthcare sector, the medical industry is likely to be the fastest-growing market for near-eye displays during the forecast period. Technological advancements include VR diagnostics, VR surgery, and AR for visualization and training assistance. Further, ongoing developments in the AR and VR markets are expected to propel the growth of the near-eye display market.
North America led the near-eye display market in 2021. Investments in display technologies made by the major players in the US have led the market growth in this region. The increased adoption of new technologies, such as LCoS, OLEDoS, and AMOLED, in the near-eye display products by North American players such as Kopin Corporation; eMagin Corporation; Syndiant, Inc.; and several other leading companies is the key driving factor for the market growth in the region. Moreover, the growing use of smartphones, the rising consumption of smart electronic devices, and the surging demand for AR and VR technologies in healthcare applications also boost the near-eye display market growth in the region.
Due to the growing adoption of AR and VR technologies by the consumer and medical verticals, the near-eye display market in Asia Pacific is predicted to grow at the fastest CAGR. China's market growth can be ascribed to the fact that it is one of Asia Pacific's major consumer electronics marketplaces. The widespread availability of lightweight, low-cost near-eye display-based HMDs in Asia Pacific will encourage more enterprises in the region to invest in AR and VR HMDs. These reasons are expected to boost the near-eye display market's growth in the near future.
The near-eye display market is dominated by a few globally established players such as Sony Group Corporation (Japan), Himax Technologies, Inc. (Taiwan), Kopin Corporation (US), eMagin Corporation (US), and MICROOLED Technologies (France).