Demand for wireless download tech lagging behind supply in mobile video surveillance

Despite surplus supply, adoption rates for technology increasing quickly among end users


Newly published research has found that demand for wireless download technology in the mobile video surveillance market is lagging behind supply.

According to “The World Market for Mobile Video Surveillance” report from IMS Research, part of IHS, a surplus supply of wireless download technology was fitted to 16 percent of all video recorders sold in mobile video surveillance markets during 2012.  IHS said that this is technology that customer either never intend to use or do not have the back-end software to support.

While there currently may be a greater supply of the technology than there is demand, adoption rates of wireless technology among end users across a variety of vertical markets have actually been on the rise.  

“Adoption rates have increased quickly; the technology really suits the usage cases for these larger fleets of trains, buses or police cars,” said David Green, senior analyst for video surveillance at IHS. “Using Wi-Fi for downloading saves time and cost for the operator, can improve reliability and also offer added value features, such as remote vehicle health-checks.”

However, while 45 percent of recorders sold last year were fitted with Wi-Fi that the customer will use, 16 percent were fitted with technology the customer won’t use – meaning that manufacturers are adding to costs by paying for components that do not need to be fitted.

“In reality, manufacturers won’t be losing out,” Green said. “The16 percent number might sound a lot in terms of unit shipments, but it’s only a small portion of the revenue. Economies of scale mean the component costs will be low to start with, plus most of the oversupply is coming from recorders made by low-cost, Asian manufacturers. These companies can’t move on price since they’re already at the bottom, so they compete with each other by loading up on features—even though they know the customers won’t use them.”

“You take a look at the high-end manufacturers and the level of oversupply is certainly less than 16 percent,” Green noted.

The current adoption rates for wireless download technology, however, would seem to bode well for manufacturers over the next several years.  

“Definitely they see adoption increasing into the future,” Green said. “Mobile video systems are evolving and wireless is a key part of the more intelligent system, linking with back-end software to provide an end-to-end solution. Manufacturers aren’t wasting their money here—and they’ll see the rewards when the market sees a boost in sales over the next couple of years.”