Thermal imaging technology market brightens up

As price points fall, more companies making a push into the market

"We see a tremendous opportunity to get a bigger footprint in the commercial market," he said.

As with other companies in the space, Brown said that DRS is looking to make the price tag of its technology affordable and wants to create a complete thermal camera solution for under $3,000.

"When we ask people, 'why not thermal?' They always say it's too expensive," he said.

Brown expects that as prices continue to fall, thermal cameras could be adopted by retail, education and high-end residential customers.

The company is also moving with the rest of the industry to network video and its latest camera, the WatchMaster IP Elite, is compliant with the ONVIF network video standard.

Looking to bring out the detail in thermal images, SightLogix is introducing the new Clear24 camera.

According to SightLogix President and CEO John Romanowich, thermal cameras can create their own set of challenges for users depending on temperature variations in people and objects, such as when there is a white out of an image during the heat of the day.

To address the problem, Romanowich said the company listened to customer feedback and worked to better flesh out the detail in the thermal images that the company's cameras were producing. In a side-by-side comparison with several other comparable models on the market using a 320 x 240 resolution format, Romanowich said that the Clear24 consistently produced a better image.

"It's a matter of pulling (the image) out and presenting it to the human eye better," he said.

Not thought of a traditional thermal imaging vendor, Sony is featuring a wide area monitoring solution at ASIS 2011 called the XIS-3310 that can be adapted to fit two thermal cameras.

This mobile camera system, which features two cameras working in tandem with one another, can be used to monitor long-range wide areas such as ports.

According to Sony Spokesman Carl Lindemann, the camera system was recently utilized as part of a security project at the National Mall.

Pelco is launching its first completely proprietary thermal camera at ASIS called the Sarix TI.

David Stanfield, senior product marketing manager for Pelco, said that company's has produced thermal cameras in the past that used a third-party camera core. The Sarix TI, however, was designed and built completely in-house by Pelco.

One thing that Stanfield said the company wanted to achieve with the Sarix TI, which is both analog and IP, was that they didn't want users to feel like it was just another military technology that was adapted for the security industry. Therefore, when the camera is setup on a network, it is discovered the same way another network camera would be and has the same interface.

"We wanted to make it feel like just another security camera," he explained.

The camera also features embedded analytics, such as virtual trip wires and people counting functionality.