The global market for capacitive sensors is projected to reach $17.5 billion by 2020, according to a new report by Global Industry Analysts Inc. The market growth comes from the rise in demand for electronic devices with touch interfaces and growing use of the technology.

The technology is growing in prominence as the standard for all touch interfaces. It offers superior sensitivity, higher measurement accuracy, greater durability and easy use to set it apart from competing technologies such as resistive, inductive and acoustic sensing, according to the report.

Touchscreens now serving as the standard human-machine interface system for most devices is also driving demand specifically for capacitive sensors.

Capacitive sensing has also gained considerable penetration in flow sensors, level sensors and position sensor applications. Factory automation and digitalization of manufacturing approaches are forecast to additionally spur opportunities in the food and beverage, oil and gas, petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals and automotive industries. Increasing use in POS systems, medical equipment, and automobile sub-systems will also boost market prospects for capacitive sensors.

According to the report, Asia-Pacific represents the largest and the fastest growing market worldwide for the sensors. During the analysis period, demand from the region waxing at a compounded annual growth rate of 14.9 percent. The growth in the region is driven by rising investments in industrial automation, stable automobile production trends and digitalizing lifestyles of the growing affluent middle class population in areas such as China and India. Touch sensors represents the largest application area, and motion sensors such as accelerometers and magnetometers are set to emerge as the fastest growing end-use market for capacitive sensors. Growing integration of motion sensing capabilities in smartphones and automobiles will especially boost demand for motion sensors over the next few years.