According to ABI Research vice president and research director Stan Schatt, "We're at a key inflection point in the diverse video surveillance market, because we're moving from an analog-based industry to a digital one. A rising tide lifts all boats: the result is a multitude of opportunities for vendors."
"Security" is the word on everyone's lips these days, but there is more to this dramatic market growth than that. Video surveillance finds uses in a variety of vertical markets such as retail, education, banking, transportation and corporate business. And it's not always about security: new facial recognition software can analyze shoppers' behavior within stores, for example, tracking eyeball movements as shoppers view product displays.
European video surveillance markets are more mature than those in North America (some say the UK, with its 4.1 million surveillance cameras, is the most monitored society on earth), but massive deployments are also now taking place in North America and, in connection with the upcoming Olympics, in China.
The diversity of products and services required by the video surveillance market present challenges for individual vendors, which they are addressing through partnerships.
But while digital technology offers advantages -- higher resolution, easier searching and retrieval, and more efficient storage -- many of the traditional security resellers of analog equipment are not yet comfortable with digital, and a massive retraining effort is going to be required.
"This is a modern version of the California gold rush," Schatt concludes, "except that people are bringing cameras instead of pickaxes and shovels."
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