ams technology – “Time of Flight Measurement”

Sommersemester 2013 

Executive Summary 

Initial Situation

ams is an Austrian based company developing and manufacturing high performance analogous semiconductors with a focus on industrial, medical, mobile communications as well as automotive markets. In 2012 ams initiated the development of a new 3D sensing technology based on Time-of-Flight measurement (ToF), which is portable and can detect movements of shapes in very great detail. In that context, the company demands an objective evaluation of potential market opportunities.

Project Goal

Referring to the above mentioned situation, the goal of the project was to identify potential application fields for the technology in order to provide a diligent decision basis for additional investments in the development process.


A common challenge in developing a new technology consists in overcoming the barrier of functional fixedness. It can be observed that employees are prone to cognitive bias and therefore may miss the key benefits of the technology from a potential users’ perspective. Furthermore classification of critical information about the technology is very important in its early stages of development.

Therefore the method “Technological Competence Leveraging” was applied, which abstracts the technology’s features into benefits and integrates users into the identification process in order to receive a more comprehensive understanding of the technology without revealing detailed specifications.

The approach consists of four stages:

  • Identification of the technology’s benefits from a potential user’s point of view

  • Search and identification of potential application fields

  • Analysis of most promising application fields from a market and industry perspective

  • Deriving business models and recommendations for market entry actions


Out of 142 conducted expert interviews and broadcast search in 57 online communities, a total of 117 potential application fields were identified, covering a broad range of industries. Each application field was assessed from a user as well as a strategic perspective, taking into account e.g. the importance of specific benefits for the intended use in the application field or the fit with ams’ strategic resources.

Detailed analyses were conducted for the three most promising application fields: (1) gesture control for home entertainment systems, (2) interactive training and physical therapy and (3) monitoring systems for elderly people and healthcare. The analyses included evaluations on market size, competitors and customers as well as threats and opportunities for ams.

Based on these analyses business models were drawn to highlight the key elements to be taken into account by ams, covering value propositions, activities, customers and partners. They are assessed as such to support ams in deriving appropriate decisions towards entering the respective markets.

The individual analyses are summed up in a strategic recommendation covering all aspects of the technology and the three identified application fields to prepare ams with an overall view on the investment opportunity at hand. 

Cooperation Partner

  • ams AG
    Tobelbader Strasse 30
    A-8141 Unterpremstätten

  • Contact Person
    Dr. Michael Leitner
    Director Marketing
    +43 3136 500 31229 

Student Team

  • Christoph Bitzner
    Manuel Bönisch
    Linda Horner
    Patrick Prokesch
    Wolfgang Stöttinger
    Katharina Wittmann
    Thomas Womser
    Olena Zagorodna
    Leila Hagh Karimzadeh
    Jan Kölle
    Michael Schachner
    Alexandra Stoiciu