As the number of devices rise, though, motion and image sensors will be the ones that matter most, said Gerra.
The number of tablets are slated to jump 78.9 percent globally from 2013 to 2017, according to IDC Research. And smartphones will see a 71.1 percent rise. These devices will pack even more sensors into them as they become ever smarter, such as programming gestures that can serve as pass codes.
"Today, people have two or three connected devices," said Andrew Uerkwitz, emerging services and technology analyst at Oppenheimer. "By 2020 that number will be 15 or 20." The number of sensors per device will also likely double.
Motion sensors, for example, are necessary ingredients in fitness bands. The sensors, which are only as big as a pen point, tilt a smartphone screen or connect with GPS. "If you believe that wearable technology will take off, sensors will be in the thick of it," explained Uerkwitz. "You need a whole host of them."
Wearable technology is also part of the even bigger future trend: the Internet of Everything, which depends heavily on sensors. A term coined by Cisco CEO John Chambers, the Internet of Everything is slated to become a $19 trillion market in the next few years as devices start to talk to each other. Cisco has already staked out the market.
"The Internet of Everything will turn the world into a smarter planet," said Tony Massimini, chief of technology at Semico Research. "Everything will be able to talk to each other over a global grid."
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