The Internet is changing most security applications. And, in some cases, practical responsibility has been turned over to Internet technology (IT) departments to deal with Internet protocol-enabled card readers, cameras, network-attached storage systems, and standard databases, as these all mirror most other IT systems.
Security has increasingly become another application on top of the existing IT infrastructure. In fact, much of the new growth in security markets is due to the capability of networked IP video surveillance cameras, IP video servers, and DVRs, which permits new low-cost applications in transportation, retail, government, and home networking. This means that IP cameras eventually will displace existing closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras. Similarly, surveillance DVRs will become networked devices.
If only two terms could describe the state of the surveillance business, they would be ubiquity and amazing technological sophistication; ubiquity in that surveillance cameras are now everywhere, with some 100 million surveillance cameras alone installed worldwide. More are installed every day, and the range of settings inexorably broadens. The residential market is almost totally untapped and thus shows huge potential, particularly for camera sales. With regard to cameras being a sizable segment of the electronic surveillance business, the technology trend is toward HD and megapixel resolution. Camera manufacturers are transitioning their IP camera product lineups from standard definition to HD and megapixel resolution cameras.
Research and development and product development is very significant in this sector, especially product development, because areas such as GPS surveillance have become amenable to personal use and personal anti-theft use. The international surveillance market has become extremely large and dynamic and in many notable cases represents the fastest-growing areas. Some countries are major importers of surveillance equipment. Not surprisingly, due to the large size of the surveillance equipment market, there are a great number of companies involved.
Two principal trends, neither of which show any sign of lessening in importance, drive the demand for electronic surveillance hardware and software. The first of these trends is the unfortunate omnipresence of violence and property damage and theft. For good reason, governments, corporations, universities, other institutions ,and individuals are increasingly concerned about security and safety. The second trend is the electronics technology revolution that has paved the way for ubiquitous video recording. Cameras have become so small, versatile, and cost-effective that they easily can become features of a typical home.
Electronic surveillance is put in place, of course, to protect people and property. As long as losses, particularly in easily measured categories such as property losses, theft, vandalism, etc., exceed the cost of security measures deployed, there is room for the security market to grow.
The above is an extract from the BCC Research report, Surveillance and Security Equipment: Technologies and Global Markets (SAS015B). To download the complimentary first chapter, please click here.