FLIR's perspective on IP-connected thermal imaging cameras

Vice President Bill Klink discusses market growth, image sensors, value to analytics and more


On an IP network, it is normal for video to not transmit at the native frame rate of the camera, but even with high network traffic and bandwidth limitations you can expect to view more than nine frames per second unless the native frame rate of the camera is limited to that amount.

Are these new FLIR cameras working with the common video management (VMS) providers, and if not, what software would an end-user need for managing their thermal IP cameras?

By virtue of non-proprietary video compression formats, these cameras are compatible with most VMS platforms that embrace open standards. Specifically, two examples are Milestone and ONSSI, for which we have tested and verified performance with the latest universal drivers. FLIR also offers our own sensor networking software that is designed to operate in parallel with VMS products, and compliment them by adding an array of unique features including geo-referenced mapping, and video analytics that are specifically tuned for our thermal cameras.

Are you providing Axis any OEM work for their cameras? Is there any collaboration here?

FLIR supplies thermal camera core technology to a very large variety of customers in many different markets, however by policy we do not publicize collaboration with any specific company.

What kind of market growth does FLIR expect for IP thermal cameras?

Sales of FLIR thermal cameras has far exceeded the growth of the visible video security market, so we expect the growth of IP to mirror that of our composite products. Many of our customers are integrating cameras into existing legacy networks, so we expect to see continued demand for our SR-series cameras as well as our new range of IP products. It is important to note that the F-sereis cameras are actually hybrid devices. They offer IP video and simultaneous composite video. This is a powerful feature for companies currently deploying cameras in legacy composite networks but which plan to upgrade to IP in the future. The F-series uniquely supports this, in contrast to IP-only cameras.

FLIR has tended to be more focused on defense and high-end critical infrastructure applications in the past. Does the release of a $3,500 camera potentially change the kind of customers/buyers that FLIR can pursue?

Admittedly, the FLIR brand connotes "defense" and "high end" product applications, probably because of our strong legacy in the government border and defense markets. However, since introducing our thermal security products to the commercial video security market FLIR has experienced dramatic growth and adoption of this technology in the commercial video security marketplace, including residential applications. FLIR will continue to introduce products with industry leading price/performance, and that strategy will accelerate the adoption of this technology in all market segments. Our introduction of a $3,500 camera with several lens fields-of-view options will certainly fuel continued adoption of this technology in the commercial security market. We are already experiencing dramatic growth in light industrial, residential, and indoor applications (see through smoke, alarm verification, back-lit doorways, dimly lit environments like casinos and show places, loading docks, etc).