Share this article

The shipping industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by increasing global trade and commerce and the need for efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally sustainable sea transportation solutions, as well as growing importance of technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial and augmented intelligence, advanced vessel operation monitoring systems, and hydrogen fuel cells. In the last three years alone, there have been over 67,000 patents filed and granted in the shipping industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Internet of Things in Ship: Underwater seismic device deployment. Buy the report here.

Smarter leaders trust GlobalData

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 25,000 patents to analyse innovation intensity for the ship industry, there are 30+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Underwater seismic device deployment is a key innovation area in Internet of Things

Underwater seismic devices are deployed to map and record the geophysical attributes of the subsea surface. They play a crucial role in seismic imaging in an offshore environment for different marine applications including oil and gas exploration and offshore wind farm site characterisation.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 10+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established shipping companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of underwater seismic device deployment.

Key players in underwater seismic device deployment – a disruptive innovation in the shipping industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to underwater seismic device deployment

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
ION Geophysical 86 Unlock Company Profile
CGG 85 Unlock Company Profile
PGS 82 Unlock Company Profile
Geco Technology 50 Unlock Company Profile
Schlumberger 32 Unlock Company Profile
Polarcus 31 Unlock Company Profile
ThyssenKrupp 27 Unlock Company Profile
CGGVeritas Services 23 Unlock Company Profile
Kongsberg Gruppen 21 Unlock Company Profile
Thales 9 Unlock Company Profile
inApril 8 Unlock Company Profile
Rolls-Royce Holdings 5 Unlock Company Profile
Raytheon Technologies 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

ION Geophysical is the leading patent filer in underwater seismic device deployment. The patents filed by the company in this space are related to positioning of underwater seismic devices, dynamically controlled foil systems and methods, marine seismic surveying in icy or obstructed waters, seismic streamer recovery devices, and method and apparatus for determining positions of submerged marine sensor streamers.

Other leading innovators in underwater seismic device deployment include CGG, PGS, and Geco Technology.

In terms of application diversity, Thales leads the pack, followed by Raytheon Technologies and ThyssenKrupp. By geographic reach, inApril is the leading company, followed by Kongsberg Gruppen and ION Geophysical.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the shipping industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Shipping.

Premium Insights


The gold standard of business intelligence.

Blending expert knowledge with cutting-edge technology, GlobalData’s unrivalled proprietary data will enable you to decode what’s happening in your market. You can make better informed decisions and gain a future-proof advantage over your competitors.


GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.