Smart surfaces are a relatively new technology that has only recently been made commercially marketable. As a result, the market is filled with a large number of new entrants vying for the top spot from a regional or even global perspective. Currently, the leading manufacturers of smart surfaces in the world are Debiotech S.A., HZO Inc., BASF SE, ATFI, and 3M Co.
According to a new research report released by Transparency Market Research, the investments made by smart surface companies are quite high currently, owing to the sheer volume of research and development efforts needed to make the technology feasible for large-scale usage.
Additionally, although the demand for smart surfaces is extremely high, manufacturers are unable to provide products that can be used across multiple fields of applications. It is therefore difficult for all application segments to avail a strong supply of smart surfaces to meet the rapidly increasing demand.
Healthcare Demand for Antimicrobial Smart Surfaces Causes R&D Pace to Pick Up
“One of the leading ways in which smart surfaces manufactures are currently benefiting is the combination of high demand and high regulatory pressure in the healthcare industry,” states a TMR analyst. “For example, there is appreciable demand for antimicrobial surfaces in hospitals today, but manufacturers have to walk through the long list of regulatory guidelines over what materials they can and cannot use.”
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Additionally, this regulatory pressure changes between regions. The U.S. and most of Europe is extremely cautious against the use of silver in antimicrobial floor coatings, while the same pressure will be a lot less in other regions. As a result of the high demand, the amount of investments going into getting smart surfaces developed and compliant is substantial. It thus becomes the current leading driver for the smart surfaces market players.
Lack of Standardized Solutions Hampers Growth of Smart Surface Manufacturers
The demand for smart surfaces is exceptionally diverse in terms of the application industry as well as the type of application itself. They can, for instance, be used for floors in hospitals or windshields of cars. Both smart surfaces can be provided by one player, but the production of both materials would be completely different.