Yole Développement has released a market report on commercial applications of uncooled IR detectors and cameras for vision and thermography.
US defense companies initially developed uncooled infrared (IR) cameras for the military market Progressively in the past ten years, these cameras are being used for commercial applications. Long wave infrared (LWIR), the most widely utilized wavelength in the IR spectrum, functions in the 8-12 micron region. The uncooled IR cameras’ main growth markets include thermography and many vision improvement applications.
A powerful factor for the vision market, also known as vision enhancement or night vision, is reduction in the cost of this camera, followed by growth in the automotive and security/surveillance/security markets.
Driven by the ongoing reductions in cost, the camera volumes sold will increase three times by 2015, as compared to more than 200,000 cameras sold presently and increasing to more than 700,000 cameras, implying an annual growth rate of +23 %. The corresponding increase in revenue will be around + 9%, accompanied with decrease in market prices for the cameras.
FLIR (US), the leader of uncooled IR cameras, adopts a vertically integrated business model with internal detector manufacturing, along with maintaining presence in all markets.
In the future, such market domination will be subjected to challenges at two levels, namely the camera and detector levels. Camera makers who are specializing in all markets will offer the challenge at the camera level. These manufacturers have powerful market presence and distribution networks. In the business of thermography, Fluke will snatch the market share from FLIR. In the market for security/surveillance systems, visible camera leaders like Pelco, Axis and Bosch, will emerge in the IR camera business
New detector vendors like Faun Infrared, Sensonor, and Bosch will emerge in the detector level market from the semiconductor and MEMS industries with high volume/low cost product capabilities.