Most investors familiar with InvenSense (NYSE:INVN) know the company as the fabless semiconductor manufacturer that makes all-in-one sensor packages used in smartphones. The company's incredible revenue growth has been driven by the proliferation of smartphones, as well as the increasing number of sensors being packed into them. But a comment on the recent conference call, as well as a number of company announcements, shows that InvenSense is looking beyond just sensors in phones to fuel its growth.
Sensors that do more than just rotate your phone's screen
One of the most exciting announcements InvenSense made in October was the breakthrough in its "UltraPrint" ultrasound fingerprint reader. The product will be able to read users' fingerprints through materials such as glass or metal and won't be bothered by things such as perspiration, oils, lotions, or other moisture. Phone manufacturers are also excited, as it will allow them to add fingerprint-reading capabilities without having to cut out or make room for an additional hole in the case. It will also be harder to "spoof" and therefore offer better security. InvenSense expects to ramp up to production by 2017.
The company is also looking to expand into the automotive market through a number of products. This plan includes extending its image stabilization products to cameras used in vehicles, as well as more gyroscope combos for safety features such as skid control, roll detection, and electronic stability control. The automotive MEMS sensor market has been estimated to reach $3.6 billion by 2020.
InvenSense also has a "Positioning Library" for the automotive market that improves vehicle navigation system accuracy. When the GPS signal is weak, such as in urban canyons, tunnels, or parking garages, the navigation system can use data from the gyroscope and accelerometer sensors, along with the Positioning Library, to deduce where the vehicle is.
Health monitoring may also become a big market opportunity for InvenSense sensors. The company announced that its products can measure heart-rate beats per minute while in motion, compared with other sensors currently on the market that require the user to stop and stay still for an accurate reading. The company's products can also measure the time between each beat cycle, which is used to calculate the heart-rate variability, a new biometric that's gaining attention as a way to assess overall health and stress levels.
In September, the company announced the first consumer inertial sensor for high-impact and wearable sports applications. Most sensors get overwhelmed if they undergo a point of high rotation, such as during a golf swing, or at impact. InvenSense's new solution overcomes this problem, making it useful for analyzing things such as golf or tennis swings or doing concussion analysis. According to InvenSense, the wearables and sports applications market is expected to grow to 190 million units by 2019.
Finally, gone are the days when all you needed for a TV remote was the old "clicker." Today, with smart TVs, advanced set-top boxes, and streaming services, users need better ways to navigate their TV. InvenSense already offers its "InvenSenseTV" product that combines motion sensors and even microphones for voice control.
High growth with a free option
So what does all of this mean for investors? On the latest earnings conference call, CEO Behrooz Abdi noted that while over 70% of InvenSense's current revenue is from mobile, over 80% of its new design win pipeline is outside mobile. In other words, InvenSense is doing what great growth companies do -- looking for the next industry where it can leverage its expertise. Abdi expects that the new opportunities will open an additional $4 billion to its total addressable market, doubling the already $4 billion addressable market in mobile.
The cynical person may point out that these applications are still unproven, as there aren't sales figures to back it up. But this is exactly what creates an opportunity for the more aggressive investor. Wall Street analysts will be shy to factor these opportunities into their growth figures because of the uncertainty -- they are currently projecting only 20% revenue growth for 2016 and only 8% growth for 2017. InvenSense has already demonstrated what kind of growth it can achieve, and the opportunities I've mentioned shows there are lots of options for further growth. For investors looking for a small-cap, high growth company, it's worth a look, especially as it could also be one of the few pure plays in the Internet of Things space.
Chris Kuiper has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends InvenSense. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.