Long Term Video Analytics Outlook Examined

By John Honovich, Published Dec 08, 2009, 07:00pm EST

With the market perception of video analytics severely weakened (see our polls and discussions), many question the long term growth potential of the video analytics market.

In December 2009, IMS Research issued a new report contending that the long term outlook is positive for video analytics despite the current slump. Specifically, IMS projects "over 450,000 channels of analytics will be embedded in cameras, encoders, DVRs and NVRs in 2013." Contrast this to a June 2009 report where IMS is cited as estimating the total channels using analytics as 40,000 in 2008. Rising from 40,000 to 450,000 channels in 5 years is an implicit CAGR of 62%.

Even if video analytics is used in 450,000 channels by 2013, that would still represent a small fraction of overall video surveillance cameras. While the total number of cameras sold each year is debated, it seems to be at least 10 million and perhaps triple that amount. Even assuming no growth in annual camera sales, IMS's projection would mean that, at best, 5% of cameras would be using video analytics in 2013.

As we examined in our 2009 Intelligent Video market review, the market is struggling and there's no revolutionary advance in video analytics that will resolve that in the near term (BRS Labs's specious claims excluded).

It is possible, perhaps likely, that video analytics will mature in the next few years but timing this based on currently available information is risky. That said, once video analytics matures, it should easily and quickly be usable on at least 1/3rd of cameras as the conceptual benefit is clear.

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