The global IR camera market size was valued at USD 8 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow to USD 16 billion by 2030. The market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8% during the forecast period (2022–2030). IR camera is also called a thermographic camera or thermal imaging camera. It is a device that creates an image using infrared radiation and visible light. It was originally developed for military use for surveillance and security purposes, but now it finds application in other fields like firefighting, transportation, and commercial and residential security. The rising demand for surveillance across various segments, the gradually decreasing price of thermal cameras, and the speedy development of high-speed infrared cameras are boosting the global IR camera market by 2030.
One of the major advantages of IR cameras over standard cameras is that the IR cameras can accurately record high-quality security images at night. That is why the demand for technology increases in the security and surveillance domain. With such security advantages, governments and security agencies are trying to utilize this IR camera as a part of their operations. Manufacturers and vendors are trying to develop and offer extravagant features with such a high demand for IR cameras. The application of IR cameras in border control for security surveillance is the major factor in the growing demand in the global market. The use of such cameras for the border control services helps prevent any breach activity by intruders that could lead to serious security concerns. The conventional cameras have some limitations when recording the footage at night, and the quality of pictures being 240px doesn’t cater to the demand. This is why such high-accuracy cameras are being installed at locations where the security concerns are at red or yellow alerts. Apart from the national security reasons, such IR cameras are used in industries, commercial and residential complexes, educational buildings, etc. With all these locations needing high-class security, the demand for IR cameras is increasing day by day and driving the global infrared (IR) camera market forward.
The IR technology works on Moore’s law to a certain extent; as the hardware becomes smaller and more energy-efficient, its cost gets lower with the hardware size. The imaging systems that are comparatively smaller are often less expensive and consume less power with better overall performance. Out of the two types of IR cameras, viz. cooled and uncooled IR cameras, specifically the uncooled IR imaging systems are less expensive.
In the past decade, the improved performance and production process of microbolometer detectors were found to have a decline in their manufacturing costs, which has significantly driven the costs down. The uncooled IR system works at room temperature, which significantly reduces size complexity and cost. For comparison, while a cooled IR sensor costs between USD 5,000 and USD 50,000 in low-volume production, an uncooled IR sensor costs USD 200–USD 10,000 with a similar volume.
Along with this the continuous technological and hardware advancements in the IR cameras, the cost of the camera systems is going to decrease at a rapid pace, which is why the global infrared (IR) camera market is in the hot spot concerning the reduced costs.
When using an IR camera for security and surveillance purpose, various factors such as ambient temperature, climatic conditions, an object’s ability to emit infrared energy, etc., widely impact the accuracy of the IR camera system. Apart from this, a non-focused IR image may have temperature anomalies. The use of IR cameras in insight, observation, and surveillance empowers them to be abused against public safety and can be utilized to sneak around on specific people, associations, and states. The IR camera systems use infrared radiations, which are mostly accurate, but sometimes the infrared radiations get bumped into an obstacle resulting in inaccurate imaging. That is why the IR cameras need to be installed at certain locations to get proper images and footage in high resolution.
States across the world have put specific guidelines on the import of such gadgets. For instance, to procure such cameras from the United States, arrangement decisions given by the specialists are required. The application of said cameras or imaging systems in the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance functions can be misused against national security. Even such imaging systems can be used to snoop on certain individuals, organizations, and governments.
Due to this, governments of various countries have imposed certain regulations on the import of high-performing IR cameras and imaging systems. But the export of infrared cameras to certain countries from the US is prohibited and may fall under the ITAR, which is the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, and to procure such IR cameras, one needs to get clearance from the ITAT and ECCN, and then only it can be exported.
The high-quality surveillance system is the need of the hour as the security concerns are growing bigger with time. National security is of utmost importance, and that is why governments are seeking such high-quality infrared cameras that can get the high-quality images and footage for the respective location to get monitored by the security personnel. IR cameras make use of infrared radiation to capture accurate and high-quality images during night times, too, and being the most cost-competitive imaging system, the demand for IR cameras is high.
Along with this, there are some limitations to the IR imaging systems, which were discussed in the restraints part of this report. This is why there is a wide scope for new technologies and systems to be implemented in the IR imaging systems. The infrared (IR) camera market is one of those few market segments that are on the verge of growth, even having some major restraints in terms of accuracy, which creates opportunities for camera manufacturers to develop highly accurate imaging systems and capture the global market.
Unlike all other industries that had adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the IR camera market has seen significant growth in the said period. The growth was due to the increased use of thermal imaging devices to scan for elevated body temperatures of people during the Covid times.
In mid-2020, Infrared cameras Inc. (ICI) announced that the thermal imaging system that utilizes IR cameras is the best and safer way to get highly accurate data regarding surveillance and the temperature checks of a person for elevated body temperature. This is the only market segment that has been on the positive quadrant of the graph, even in the toughest time for the entire world. The major use of these IR cameras was made in the medical and healthcare industry during the Covid times, which contributed to a significant revenue generation.
The global IR camera market share is segmented by type and by end-use. Based on type, the long-wavelength IR contributes the major share of the market with figures of USD 4 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach USD 9 billion in 2030 at a CAGR of 8%. The long wave infrared imaging device gathers image data differently from most other devices. It detects photons emitted by the object instead of capturing the light reflected from an object. The long-wavelength IR cameras are mostly used in surveillance and for security reasons and mostly used at borders, army camps, and national infrastructures.
The medium wavelength IRs are second to the long-wavelength IR, with a market share of USD 2 billion in 2021 and expected to earn a market share of USD 4 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 7%. The medium wavelength IR cameras are used for various applications ranging from commercial, residential, industrial, etc.
The short wavelength IR is third among the by-type segmentation of the IR camera market, which owns a market share of USD 1 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow to USD 2 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 8%. These are the least used imaging devices among the other two types, owing to the range and quality offered by the other two types. But still, the most use of short-wavelength IR cameras is in the residential segment where people install such cameras for their home security and monitoring.
By end-use, the IR camera market is divided into military and defense, commercial and industrial use. Of which the military and defense segment has the major market share with USD 3 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach USD 7 billion by 2030 with a CAGR of 9%.
The IR cameras are mostly used for defense and military purposes concerning the border's security woes and at some high-alerted locations. Military uses the IR cameras for surveillance needs to keep an eye over a long range during day and night. This is why such IR cameras are installed at such locations where the security concerns are high, so the infrared (IR) camera market has a subsequent revenue generation from military and defense.
The commercial sector is second to military and defense when considered with respect to revenue generation. The commercial segment had a market value that stood at USD 2 billion in 2021 and is anticipated to reach USD 3 million by 2030 at a CAGR of 5%. The commercial segment includes the public infrastructure like offices, malls, movie theatres, roads and highways, railway and bus stations, airports, etc. The industrial segment is ranked third with a market share of USD 1 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach USD 3 billion at a CAGR of 11%.
The global IR camera market share is primarily segmented into three regions, namely – North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
The Asia-Pacific region is the most dominant one, with a market share of USD 4 billion in 2021 and expected to reach USD 7 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 9%. The Asia-Pacific region has the presence of major economies like India, China, Japan, South Korea, etc., which have a vast industrial exposure with an impeccable growth rate. Along with this, with the major public infrastructures being constructed in the region, the need for IR cameras is continuously increasing. That is why the said region is dominating the global market share.
North America is the second dominant region in the global IR camera market, which had a market value of USD 2 billion in 2021 and reached USD 4 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 7%. The third and the least revenue-generating region is Europe, which contributes to a market value of USD 2 billion in 2021 and reaching at USD 3 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 7%.
|Market Size||USD in Billion By 2030|
|Forecast Units||Value (USD Million)|
|Report Coverage||Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends|
|Segments Covered||by Type (Short Wavelength IR, Medium Wavelength IR, LONG Wavelength IR), End-Use (Military & Defense, Commercial)|
|Geographies Covered||North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, LAME and Rest of the World|
|Key Companies Profiled/Vendors||FLIR Systems , Sensors Unlimited , Fluke , Axis Communications , Xenics , New imaging Technologies , Allied Vision Technologies , Leonardo DRS , Opgal Optronic Industries ,|
|Key Market Opportunities||Rapid Growth In Semiconductor & Electronics Industry Enhances Infrared (Ir) Camera Market|