Editor / Provider: John Shi, a&s Editorial Director | Updated: 5/29/2013 | Article type: Hot Topics
With the successful conclusion of the three major international physical security trade shows ISC, SECUTECH, and IFSEC this year, new waves of change rippling through the industry were reflected at the show floors. Here are some major trends observed at the exhibitions:
1. Regional market shifts
The US security market is rebounding especially in the education and government vertical markets, with school administrators and parents being especially supportive of security investments. The stabilization of the US economy and the conclusion of the presidential elections, has contributed to the increase of security budgets. In contrast, the European market appears to be more conservative. Nevertheless, Northern Europe, Germany, and Eastern Europe markets still remain promising. The Middle East's security demands are driven by its continual infrastructure investments. There is also a higher quota for IP applications in this region, as the technology has not been implemented in the past.
2. High-end market saturation
Affected by tightened security budgets and a highly competitive market, the security industry's high-end market is gradually becoming saturated. Manufacturers have taken two extreme approaches, with some climbing upwards to even more sophisticated markets, such as Genetec's migration from VMS to solution-based projects, or Nice Systems promotion of PSIM products highlighting event management capacities. Others have chosen to move into entry-mid level markets, for instance Milestone Systems's release of Arcus, an entry-level VMS that can be embedded into cameras or NVRs. Axis Communications has also released cameras with front-end storage and back-end cloud services, while many other companies have promoted price/performance ratio products.
3. No new technologies
There has been a lack of major developments in video surveillance technology and products. Instead, video surveillance cameras have turned to more functions, easy-installation, user-friendly, and maintenance-friendly.
4. Diverse back-end storage
Unlike the CCTV era, where DVRs was the only storage method, there are now five different types of storages—storing directly on camera memory cards (decentralized system), server grade storage, NAS, embedded NVR, cloud-based storage or services. How these storages technologies will evolve in the future is worth following up on.
5. Access control shines
Similar to the video surveillance industry three to five years ago, the access control sector is quickly shifting towards IP. Besides integration demands, of special interest is the integration of new technologies, for instance, wireless door locks that are easy to install, RFID technology for asset management or employee management, biometric identification (including fingerprint, facial and iris), identity management for government and financial industries, and lastly NFC. The introduction of these technologies will urge the upgrade of access control devices, and drive market adaption, especially in universities, hospitals, and government agencies.
6. HD demand evident
IP-based video surveillance has established itself as the mainstream technology in U.S, due to good IP infrastructure and mature cloud services. However, labor remains expensive in U.S, which is why IP over coaxial cable solutions is still highly popular. SDI technology is still in the minority, but there is still market for the product. Some have observed the lack of Internet concepts among most engineering companies and no Internet maintenance at the end-user level. Compared to the limitations of HD-SDI transmission, storage, and costs for one cable per camera, Taiwan IC company's ccHDtv solution can connect 16 cameras over 500 meters.
Major European security markets that have made large investments in CCTV in the past, such as UK, Germany and France, are more keen on HD-SDI. Although, UK's acceptance for IP technology has increased since last year, demands for HD-SDI remain high. Recently London upgraded 4 million analog cameras to HD.
7. Civilian security
The rapid growth of smartphones and hand held devices has propelled the demand for home security and cloud-services. Companies trying to tap into the home market include telecommunication companies, Internet companies, civilian cloud-based services, and security companies. The targeted users are homeowners and SMBs, which is expected to spur large demands for entry-level surveillance cameras, and even impact 4-channel DVR manufacturers market and distribution channels.
8. Chinese manufacturers
Hikvision Digital Technology's performance in many countries reflects the results of setting up local branches, while Dahua Technology has invested heavily at major security trade shows, greatly increasing its visibility.
9. Asian manufacturers
Asian manufacturers have increased their presence at international trade shows, by staging independent exhibition booths or joining country pavilions.
10. US analog market
Although analog video surveillance has a 70 percent market share in U.S, profits remain extremely low. Will it be possible for a professional manufacturer to take on this highly standardized field in the future?
11. Smart buildings and safe cities
IP integration has brought forth two major technologies, smart buildings (energy efficient and green) and safe cities. Compared to Taiwan, most countries safe cities have developed at a much slower pace and at a smaller scale.
12. Factors accelerating change
Challenges in product value and IP network applications is accelerating industry changes, whether it is the reshuffling of major security component manufacturers and the rise of Hilsilcon; the restructuring of foreign companies and traditional distribution channels; the convergence of IT channels that are rapidly entering the security market; or Asian manufacturing companies in China, Taiwan and South Korea that are facing pricing or technology reshuffling and replacements.
13. Fierce competition
As China's cheap products pour into the international market, the result is most companies have earned little. Domestic sales account for most of Hikvision and Dahua's profits.