Nothing is slowing the growth of video surveillance technology. Not uneven economic growth around the world, not even the ongoing trade war between the United States and China, the two biggest users of the technology.
In fact, a new report Research firm IHS Markit predicts global sales of surveillance equipment – cameras, recorders, video management software and accessories – to exceed $ 20 billion for the first time this year. The market will grow nearly 10% this year compared to last year, and potentially faster in the economies of South and Southeast Asia, according to the study.
According to IHS Markit, the number of professionally installed CCTV cameras will increase from 770 million worldwide today to over 1 billion in 2021.
The appetite for domestic surveillance by authoritarian regimes, of course, remains unchecked, but even more democratic governments are buying up systems in an attempt to provide more security to citizens.
The rapid developments of two other technologies are arguably more important to fuel growth.
The global deployment of 5G telecommunications technology, which can carry more data more efficiently than the existing 4G infrastructure, is particularly important for the growth of video surveillance.
As IHS Markit points out in its report, as of 2018, the installed base of network cameras (those that capture images to send over data networks) has rivaled that of analog surveillance systems. These older systems generally use closed circuits, not the Internet.
Almost parallel to the beginnings of 5G, research-based analytics products have appeared that can create a metadata stream synchronized with a video stream.
Right now, the metadata isn’t exactly granular: object type, color and size, etc., but the capabilities will increase, and likely rapidly. The development could also allay concerns about how so many petabytes of video information will be analyzed.
The IHS Markit report finds another factor fueling this market: the trade war between the United States and China.
Chinese electronics makers are looking for an easier way to sell in the United States, which has imposed tariffs and barriers on top products flocking to the west. Electronic products made by Chinese nationals in China can escape tariffs and headaches by escaping to countries that do not have trade wars with the United States.
Not only do exiting companies avoid tariffs, but they move to countries with lower labor costs, like Vietnam, than even China.
A related market development is occurring in India. IHS Markit notes that India, already an emerging player in home-made and sold video surveillance systems, is looking to sell overseas. Adding new production to this market will only reduce material costs, further increasing sales.
Looking further – probably beyond 2020 – in terms of market players, IHS Markit researchers see the combination of machine learning and the Internet of Things impacting video surveillance.
They see “unorthodox combinations” of sensors and equipment networked with software that approaches the capabilities of artificial intelligence. The result could be alarms that can quickly and accurately check for indications of an emergency, such as a fire or a burglary.
The software would collect data from surveillance cameras, but also access control systems, temperature and humidity sensors, etc. The products would adapt to urban, regional, national and even multinational systems.
This story was last updated on 2020-01-12, adding the forecast for total global sales for 2020.
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