The IR camera market was valued at USD 6.10 billion in 2019 and expected to reach a value of USD 9.91 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 8.3% over the forecast period (2020 - 2025). With the increasing demand for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) in the future and investments in autonomous cars, IR cameras are expected to witness significant adoption in vehicles.
- The demand for surveillance has increased across various applications, including military and defense, energy, commercial spaces (such as banks). With energy usage becoming a crucial part of the global strategy to manage natural resources, solar energy is gaining prominence. As solar power is becoming increasingly popular, and solar panels are a costly and vulnerable commodity, good security is a must.
- An increasing need for continual and rigorous surveillance in the military is likely to provide an opportunity through these solutions for the use of the government. The governments across the world have already deployed drone cameras in large numbers, which cover around 100 kilometers of area.
- Industry 4.0 fueled the development of technologies like robots playing a crucial role in industrial automation, with many core operations in industries being managed by robots. InGaAs cameras offer new applications, such as vision-guided robotics and automated butchering. These vision-guided robots are a combination of IR imagers that finds and picks random parts in a bin, and then a camera analyses the orientation of each part and places them on the conveyor belt.
- The COVID-19 is expected to have a significant impact on the market in the current year. It is anticipated to continue to impact the first two quarters of the year following it, as the supply chain has experienced a considerable disruption owing to the COVID-19 being declared as a pandemic.
- Companies are making continuous product innovations for the fight against coronavirus. For instance, recently, in May 2020, Santa Barbara Infrared Inc. (SBIR), a manufacturer of advanced infrared (IR) and electro-optical (E-O) test hardware for medical, aerospace, and defense applications, has introduced the Nightingale Body Temperature Reference Blackbody System for human body temperature detection.
- Moreover, the key vendors in the market offering InGaAs IR cameras are also seeking to form alliances to take initiatives against COVID-19. For instance, in April 2020, Hamamatsu and Kiko Knowledge Hub Join Inspirata’s effort to offer free remote pathology solutions for healthcare institutions affected by COVID-19.
Key Market Trends
LWIR and MWIR is Expected to have Significant Growth
- LWIR and MWIR are the most used wavelengths of IR cameras for security and surveillance applications. However, there are certain applications where LWIR is more efficient than MWIR, including objects of detection that span a very wide temperature range requiring intra-scene imaging of both hot and cold objects.
- In harsh environments, where MWIR may not perform well in imaging through smoke or aerosols, LWIR is usually the chosen technology. These mainly include the firefighting and military applications.
- Also, for most of the surveillance situations (man or vehicle to be detected within ambient temperature background), there is more flux (thermal energy emitted by the targets and by the environmental background), which is not efficiently contained by the MWIR due to the lack of band availability. Such applications have also witnessed the increased adoption of LWIR.
North America Region is Expected to Have a Significant Share in the Market
- The North America region is regarded as the highest spending region for its military and defense expenditure driven by the United States. In FY 2019, the country spent over USD 717 billion for its defense activities, followed by China with USD 117 billion.
- In June 2019, the US Army mentioned of surveying for high-resolution and wide-field-of-view longwave infrared sensors to replace the Army's fielded Driver's Vision Enhancer (DVE) to assist on vehicles safely at night and in degraded-visibility conditions.
- Additionally, in March 2020, US-based Ratheon Co, has mentioned partnering with Quantum Imaging Inc, for acquiring a high-definition short-wave infrared (SWIR) camera for tactical imaging applications. Within this agreement of worth USD 13.5 million, Quantum Imaging will provide high-definition SWIR cameras for tactical imaging applications at Space and Airborne Systems segment. These IR cameras are designed with 10-by-10-micron pixel pitch and integral antiblooming.
- In-Line with this, in December 2019, US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command announced to partner with Polaris Sensor Technologies to develop a specialized SWIR camera. Such partnerships are expected to continue in the future and estimated to drive the market in North America.
- Government initiatives, such as Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, which has undertaken to make the industry, various universities, and the federal government invest in the emerging automation technologies, will increase the production of machine vision systems.
The IR camera market is highly competitive with a large number of players in the market. Some of the major players in the IR camera market are, FLIR Systems Inc. and Opga.
- In May 2020, FLIR Systems announced the "FLIR C5 Compact" thermal camera with a built-in FLIR Ignite cloud connectivity and additional Wi-Fi features for the users in the manufacturing, building maintenance, and utility industries. The FLIR C5 product is designed as an easy-to-carry thermal camera, providing easy sharing tools and the reduced diagnostic time for commercial electrical testing.
- In May 2020, Teledyne DALSA announced its SWIR scan camera for machine vision. The newly developed product features a cutting-edge InGaAs sensor in a compact package suitable for various applications, including recycling, food & packaged good inspection, mineral sorting, and solar & silicon wafer inspection.
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