Nanotechnology Project

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Inventories

Consumer Products

Analysis

This is the first publicly available on-line inventory of nanotechnology-based consumer products.

The inventory is an essential resource for consumers, citizens, policymakers, and others who are interested in learning about how nanotechnology is entering the marketplace. It is meant to be international and expanding. Additions to the inventory will be made periodically, as new information is received. Products recently added to the inventory are marked with the “New” symbol. Users are encouraged to submit new and updated information to nano@wilsoncenter.org.

Summary Information

As of March 10, 2011, the nanotechnology consumer products inventory contains 1317 products or product lines. For each entry, the following information is provided: • Product name • Company, manufacturer or supplier • Country of origin • Category and subcategory • Product picture • Product description • Hyperlink to product webpage • Date of update

For reference, the dark bar in figures 2-5 indicates the relevant number of products in the inventory when it was released on March 8, 2006.

As of March 2011, the inventory has grown by nearly 521% (from 212 to 1317 products) since it was released in March 2006.

Figure 1. Number of total products listed, by date of inventory update, with regression analysis.

A linear regression was conducted on total products listed in the CPI (Figure 1). Data has been collected since 2005, although the CPI was not released until 2006. The R² value is a statistical measure (ranging from 0 to 1, with 1 being a perfect fit) of how well the regression line fits the actual data; or the variability in a data set that is accounted for by the model. Think of it as how well a model can predict what is actually happening. The closer the R² is to 1 the better the model and the closer one can approximate a future outcome.

Products were grouped according to relevant main categories (Figure 2) that are loosely based on publicly available consumer product classification systems. The largest main category is Health and Fitness, with a total of 738 products. This includes products like cosmetics and sunscreens.

Figure 2. Number of products, according to category.

Products with relevance to multiple categories have been accounted for multiple times in Figure 2. Associated with each category are a number of appropriate sub-categories that allow for further organization of the products. For example, Paint is a sub-category under Home and Garden, while Display is a sub-category under Electronics and Computers. The Cross-Cutting category was included as a grouping of products that are multi-functional. Currently, the only sub-category under Cross-Cutting is Coatings. In addition, 84 products have a “generic” designation, indicating that they are commercial technologies that will be used in, or are currently appearing in, consumer products.

Figure 3. Number of products per sub-category within the category Health and Fitness.

Figure 3 illustrates the sub-categories associated with the largest main category, Health and Fitness. It includes Cosmetics (143 products), Clothing (182), Personal Care (267), Sporting Goods (119), Sunscreen (33), and Filtration (43). Again, products with relevance to multiple categories have been accounted for multiple times. The Cosmetics, Clothing and Personal Care sub-categories are now the largest in the inventory.

Figure 4. Numbers of products, according to region.

The inventory now includes products from 30 different countries. Figure 4 illustrates the breakdown of products by region and indicates that companies based in the United States have the most products, with a total of 587, followed by companies in Europe (UK, France, Germany, Finland, Switzerland, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, The Netherlands) (367), East Asia (including China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan) (261), and elsewhere around the world (Australia, Canada, Mexico, Israel, New Zealand, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, The Philippines, Malaysia) (73). Two products have no country designation.

Figure 5. Numbers of products associated with specific materials.

As Figure 5 indicates, there is a small set of materials explicitly referenced in nanotechnology consumer products. The most common material mentioned in the product descriptions is now silver (313 products). Carbon, which includes fullerenes, is the second most referenced (91), followed by titanium (including titanium dioxide) (59), silica (43), zinc (including zinc oxide) (31), and gold (28).