IMS Top 10 Video Surveillance Predictions Examined

By John Honovich, Published Jan 16, 2010, 07:00pm EST

IMS has released Top 10 video surveillance predictions for 2010. We think it's useful to consider but important to appreciate the timing and product support issues impacting these predictions. Specifically:

  • Managed/Hosted video: Their first prediction is that 2010 will "be the year [video surveillance as a service] moves out of the shadows into the limelight". While we think that interest and use will certainly expand, we believe it will be more gradual. Not only are the products not ready for mass use, the only large company pushing these solutions is Axis (see our managed/hosted video comparison and Axis AVHS test results for background). Moreover, given the business model conflicts with the traditional security model, we would be surprised if incumbents were aggressive (note: Axis is cautious not to position this in conflict with their large VMS partners). Finally, there's little VC money behind the managed/hosted video startups. Bringing a new technology into the limelight requires someone to fund this. Video analytics and PSIM had the VCs. Managed/hosted video will not have anywhere near as much.
  • Cameras with Built-In Storage: IMS predicts: "2010 will see more vendors offering a wider range of network cameras with SD card support. Furthermore, IMS Research predicts that end-users will start to exploit this feature in increasing numbers." While 80% of the cameras we test support SD cards, 90% of these are worthless. VMS support for SD cards/storage is poor with the only common case being proprietary solutions requiring the use of the camera manufacturer's VMS. It will be rare to see SD storage be used until interoperability standards are adopted for accessing storage on cameras. This is, even optimistically, at least two years away (if it happens).
  • Prices Fall for Network Cameras: "IMS Research forecasts that like-for-like network camera prices will start to fall significantly in 2010 – by at least 15% in some instances." Because the prediction is so heavily hedged, it's hard to analyze. IMS does cite ONVIF/PSIA as being driving forces. While we think in the long term interoperability will put downward pressure on prices, we think 2010 will be too soon for this to be a significant effect. As we noted in our estimated timetable for ONVIF/PSIA adoption, we think 2010 will be a year for adoption but not widespread use. We doubt large incumbents will drop their prices in anticipation of the impact of standards. It's more likely they wait until 2011 to gauge the practical effect of the use of these 'standards'.
  • Video Analytics for Search: "The biggest trend for video analytics in 2010 will be searchable or forensic analytics." Given the shortage of vendors offering forensic analytics (3VR, Agent Vi, Bosch, VideoIQ), we do not see what will drive this trend. 3VR's been pitching this for years with limited market acceptance. Agent Vi just released their Vi Search solution. While Bosch and VideoIQ both offer forensic analytics, both more strongly emphasize their real time alerting. Furthermore, we do not see any specific technology or market shifts that would make forensic analytics much better or more needed. While video analytics has suffered many issues, the focus on real time alerting was clearly logical. In security, unlike Internet search, real time information (alerts) are dramatically more valuable than forensics (meaning users will pay far more for alerting than search). We do not see this changing.
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