The video surveillance industry has changed dramatically since IMS Research published its first report on the market in 2003. Over the years, the team of market analysts have expanded our video surveillance research to cover every aspect of the market, from network camera trackers through to dedicated reports on video analytics, storage, VSaaS (Video Surveillance as a Service) and PSIM (Physical Security Information Management).
The following predictions for 2012 serve to provide some guidance on the key trends and opportunities in each of these areas. IMS hopes you find them useful in planning for the year ahead. IMS top 10 predictions are:
1) Refocusing on Image Quality in 2012
HD and megapixel resolution security cameras have been "flavour of the month" in the video surveillance industry over the last few years. In fact, IMS Research forecasts that by 2015, more than 70% of all network camera shipments will be megapixel resolution. Furthermore, there is a general consensus amongst the industry that HD resolution is "enough" resolution for most security applications.
In spite of this, over the last twelve months, manufacturers have continued to push for greater numbers of megapixels. Arecont Vision and Avigilon both have 20 megapixel cameras in their product portfolios, Dallmeier released a 200 megapixel camera and ipConfigure upped the ante with the launch of the world's first security focused gigapixel (technically a 2 gigapixel) wide area surveillance camera.
This trend plays to the common misconception that more megapixels/more resolution equates to better image quality.
However, video quality is dependent on factors other than the number of megapixels on the sensor, such as the lens and image processing.
So, will manufacturers continue the trend to push higher numbers of megapixel/gigapixels in 2012?
Whilst some manufacturers are unlikely to desist from releasing higher megapixel cameras, for example Dallmeier have plans to up their 200 megapixel camera to 600 megapixels, IMS Research believes that for the vast majority of manufacturers, there will be a renewed focus on image quality in 2012.
This all stems back to the issue of requirement. For most general purpose video surveillance applications, there is a limit to the amount of image detail required; typically the ability to distinguish facial features and clearly identify a license plate is sufficient. With the exception of wide area surveillance (e.g. borders, stadia, etc.) the utility of higher than HD resolution is often negligible. To date, the market opportunity for "high" megapixel cameras remains relatively niche.
With an ever increasing number of HD resolution security cameras being releasing on the market, manufacturers will need to further develop their points of differentiation/USPs. Likely advancements will be in well-established areas of need, such as low light capability and wide dynamic range. However, we will also see increasing adoption of P-Iris lens technology and advances in live video enhancement.
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2) Focus to Shift from the BRICs to the CIVETS?
Given that the Eurozone crisis, which has yet to find a resolution, looks to potentially dampen global economic growth in 2012, where will video surveillance suppliers find opportunities for growth in the coming year?
Over the last few years, the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China) have been the countries of choice for video surveillance vendors seeking new growth opportunities. Unlike the more developed video surveillance equipment markets in EMEA and North America, the BRICs were far less impacted by the recent economic downturn. IMS Research estimates that the total video surveillance equipment market in the BRICs was worth over $2.5 billion in 2010. With a growth rate exceeding 20% for the next two years, the BRICs will continue to offer video surveillance vendors solid growth opportunities as the more established and mature video surveillance markets feel the impact from a second potential downturn.
Whilst the BRICs have and continue to offer opportunities for growth, many of the leading market players have already established footprints in these countries, diminishing any potential for first mover advantage.
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