Market for small IP camera installations expected to surge

Dropping prices and increased performance to spur growth of IP video surveillance for small business applications

Ryan said that the proliferation of smart phones and tablets has changed how people expect to access video data -- and that they now expect to be able to access their video remotely. "As such, most IP camera solutions, regardless of price, have mobile device integration in some way. For example, Bosch provides free mobile apps to view and manage your video, and there are many independent apps available as well. This has enabled average consumers to integrate video surveillance into their everyday lives."

Additionally, he said that the trend toward commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technology aids the affordability of IP technology, since IP camera system pricing inevitably depends on the costs of IT market staples like PCs, servers, routers, and SD cards. These items, Ryan said, "are all part of the IP video surveillance infrastructure and these items continually drop in price while gaining in output performance."

So, with these factors in play (plus the emergence of the hosted video opportunity), what is the forecast for IP video surveillance growth in terms of sales to small businesses?

Samsung's Tom Cook said the future is sunny; he is expecting 20-30 percent growth in this area. That means long-term growth possibility, since he estimates that no more than 5 percent of Samsung's IP cameras sales are currently sales for small business applications. Others in the industry, like Axis' Fredrik Nilsson, think the growth could be even more powerful. He notes that IMS Research is forecasting that IP video will effectively take over the video surveillance market by 2020. IMS is also predicting that 2013 will be the year of IP video's "tipping point", with more IP video surveillance products sold than analog surveillance products.

"It really is an exciting time," Nilsson said. "We're seeing 30-plus percent growth overall, and that's before we've really begun tapping this small business market. We also have the chance to get back to basics and educate these new IP technology users about the benefits of IP video surveillance. I for one am looking forward to this IP video surveillance 2.0 phase where network video technology is available to and can benefit everyone. We get to re-live the initial excitement when our customers get their first taste of network video surveillance."