A variety of trends on the video surveillance
Whether it is the advent of higher resolution imaging solutions or the continued push towards greater network bandwidth savings in the form of H.265 and other proprietary compression formats, the video surveillance industry is in what seems like a perpetual state of innovation when comes to technology. And while these advances have brought about immense change in the way people think about and use video, many believe we have only begun to scratch the surface in terms of what can be eventually be accomplished with the technology.
In addition to the products, the industry itself has also been in a state of flux. Given the amount of M&A activity that has occurred in recent years, it is clear that the trend towards increased vendor consolidation will only continue in the coming years. According to a recent report from IHS, the industry’s top players seemed to have also tightened their grip on the market, with the research firm noting that 11 of the same companies remained in its top 15 ranking of video surveillance equipment suppliers from 2010 to 2015.
What will these changing market dynamics, combined with pace of technology advancement mean for the market moving forward? I interviewed a number of industry experts at the recent ASIS conference in Orlando to get their take on where video technology, as well as the video business, is headed over both the short- and long-term. Here is what a few of them had to say:
Fredrik Nilsson, general manager, North America, Axis Communications: From our perspective, it’s amazing. Volume growth is still very good, revenue growth is still very good as well, so there are more and more cameras coming out and there are still great opportunities in general. We thought we had pushed (the limits) when it came to Lightfinder and Zipstream, but with the latest chipsets coming out, we are going to take it to yet the next level. Now it is going from really good to absolutely amazing.
When it comes to the IP space on the low- and mid-range, there are a lot of hybrid standards and hybrid solutions with HDcctv-based solutions that are proprietary, not scalable, and I think they are going to have a play for a couple of years and then they are going to die out as well. It’s an opportunity, but the challenges are very different from the enterprise space.
Andrew Elvish, vice president of marketing, Genetec: From a video business perspective, I think we’re going to see a gutting of mid- and low-end players. I don’t think they are going to be able to compete with some of the competition, and it’s going to be very painful for some of the established mid-tier VMS competitors. We are going to see real separation out into enterprise technology and then everything else will run on NVRs at a very low cost. It’s going to be very difficult for camera manufacturers in their mid-tier models to stay competitive. I think you will see a lot of them putting more emphasis on high-end features and looking to partners that can support high-end systems.
From a video technology standpoint, it is going to be much more about how do large-scale physical and operational systems hold together. I think sensors will become much more democratic, and the real challenge will become how to make sense out of all of those data inputs? That’s where the real value is going to come into the market – in taking massive scale sensors and taking advantage of those to gain intelligence.