IMS Research makes surveillance industry predictions for 2012

With the dawn of a new year approaching, UK-based IMS Research has released its top 10 predictions for the video surveillance market in 2012.

According to the research firm, the top trends in the market next year will be:

1) A refocus by manufacturers on image quality

This doesn’t necessarily mean a push for more and more megapixels, but rather a greater focus on improving image quality as a differentiator. "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," IMS said in its forecast.

2) A shift in market growth opportunities from BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China) to CIVETS (Columbia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa)

Though the BRIC regions have recently been seen as growth markets because they have been less impacted by the economic downturn, the research firm says that many of the leading vendors have already established a foothold in these regions, which will force other companies to look for different emerging markets. "In terms of video surveillance market size, the CIVETS will not overtake the BRICs for many years, if at all; however, IMS Research believes that manufacturers will begin to explore the long term growth potential of the CIVETS in 2012," the report said.

3) Market potential for HD over Coax solutions

This was also a trend noted by IMS for 2011, however, the research firm said that the prediction has turned out to be "generally accurate" with the category of HD over Coax products expanding beyond those that are HDcctv Alliance conformant, such as HD-SDI and Security Link over Coax (SCLOC).

4) The pushing of video analytics to the edge

Video analytic processes have traditionally been performed at the server level due the processing power required. IMS is predicting, however, that the availability of more powerful processors for devices will increase the types of analytic functions that can be performed at the edge.

5) A greater volume of "medium-sized" merger and acquisition deals

This predicted market trend has already begun to take shape with the recent announcement of Infinova’s acquisition of March Networks. While several other segments of the industry, such as remote monitoring (Tyco acquisition of Broadview Security) and systems integration (Stanley’s acquisition of Niscayah), have seen large deals in recent years, IMS predicts that won’t be the case for video surveillance market.

6) Continued evolution of cloud-based surveillance offerings

IMS says that the market for Video Surveillance-as-a-Service (VSaaS) grew between 20 to 30 percent in 2011 and the research firm believes that market is still "emerging." Among several emerging trends in the technology, according to the report, are cloud-based video content analysis and video analysis by people.

7) A potential turning point for spinning disks

Though the price of video storage had fallen in recent years, IMS believes that the recent flooding in Thailand where many hard disk drives are produced could "soften" that trend, even though larger manufacturers are not expected to be greatly impacted. "If disruption to HDD manufacturing facilities continues for longer than anticipated the stated affects will become more pronounced, to the point that there may be a slight increase in average storage prices for a short period. Once HDD production recovers in Thailand, or production in alternative manufacturing sites is increased, the trend towards lower HDD prices and the resulting lower price per TB of storage systems will continue. However, for the moment it appears that the trend of lower prices for spinning disks has been temporarily paused," the research firm said.

8) Increased innovations in the VMS market

IMS predicts that the established providers of video management systems will have to "1) maintain and increase presence in the upper market tier and 2) grow in the middle and lower tiers of the market," if they want continue to see high growth rates. The firm said it predicts that VMS vendors will work on several innovations over the next year including user interface, mobile applications, and situational awareness.

9) Advancements in video compression technology

While H.264 has become the industry standard for video compression, IMS says that the flooding in Thailand, the current economic climate and the growth of HD and megapixel cameras could lead to increased innovation in compression technology.

10) The concept of the Internet of Things (IOT) and its prevalence in China

This concept, which involves the electronic identification and categorization of individual objects in an "Internet-like structure," could significantly impact the market, especially in China, which has installed numerous cameras over the past decade, according to IMS. "It is questionable whether IOT will drive new investment into security cameras. However, the expected benefits of IOT will help justify public expenditure on video surveillance equipment. IOT will be an interesting subject for those in video surveillance to monitor in future years," the report said.

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