A digital compass (E-compass) is a small compact device that uses the earth’s magnetic field to allow the determination of the user’s geographic direction. It is a device with integrated with microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). MEMS is the technology of microscopic devices, particularly those with moving parts, which merges nanoscale into nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) and nanotechnology.
In most handheld electronic devices, such as watches, tablets, smartphones, and GPS devices, e-compasses are increasingly becoming a universal component. E-compasses provide directional information which enhances the positioning of Global Positioning System (GPS) devices with substantial built-in accuracy. This makes it beneficial in location-based services and various other applications, including industry, construction, personal, military, and transportation.
Critical sectors, such as aviation, defense, and marine, require high-grade 1- and 2-axis sensors for their operation. Extensive investment in R&D in these sectors and a constant need for upgrades to better equipment drive the growth of the digital compass market. The use of e-compass navigation is becoming a prerequisite in smartphones, tablets, and gaming devices, which is also driving the market growth. Additionally, rising demand for simple user interfaces and better access to technologies is fuelling the development of digital compasses.
However, the widespread use of GPS technology is expected to hinder the growth of digital compass market. Also, in terms of cost, Hall Effect antennas are more economical and these sensors are “miniaturized.” The radio frequency components of conventional devices are declining due to the implementation of new standards (LTE and LTE-A). LTE stands for “long-term evolution” and is short for a very technical process for high-speed data for phones and other mobile devices. This is increasing the usage of the number of sensors for location-based tracking services, which is intended to unlock new opportunities for the digital compass market.
The global digital compass market is segmented on the basis of technology, application, sensor type, and region. In terms of technology, the market can be segmented into fluxgate, Hall Effect and magnetoresistive. The digital compass market is classified on the basis of application into consumer electronics, aerospace and defense, automotive, marine, and surveying. On the basis of sensor type, the market is classified into 1- & 2-axis, 3-axis, 6-axis, and 9-axis sensors.