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The global SWIR camera market size stood at USD 178.9 million in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 419.0 million by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 11.4% during the forecast period.
Rising demand for SWIR cameras to carry out security and surveillance activities in the military and defense vertical is one of the major factors driving the growth of this market. These cameras are used for research purposes in numerous sectors such as semiconductor production, nanotechnology and life sciences, and research and low-energy technologies. Additionally, deployment of shortwave infrared cameras for defense applications has a significant effect on the sector. The growing demand for these cameras for control and inspection applications is also anticipated to drive the market. They can display better resolution imagery through pictures and display superior performance even in cloud, rain, and other difficult atmospheric environments. Such benefits offered by these cameras have led to their significant adoption in military and defense applications.
Interest in Thermal Imaging and SWIR InGaAs Cameras Will Grow as COVID-19 Rages On
Ever since COVID-19 started spreading through the world earlier this year, thermal camera and sensor manufacturers of the SWIR system started promoting the devices as an efficient solution to test people for fever from a distance. Cameras that can interpret heat signatures on individuals and objects have generally been used in industrial and military environments. However, these cameras may also be used to aid organizations to manage the pandemic and assess the disease. High fever is one of the basic symptoms of COVID-19. If the temperature of an individual increases, the volume of radiation released rises. Shortwave infrared cameras offer ways to identify these variations and help authorities to employ new strategies to limit the virus spread.
In other areas of the world, such as Europe and wide parts of Asia, thermal scanning with these cameras is helping governments and medical authorities track human body temperatures. Thermal imaging devices are combined with other technologies such as face recognition, gesture modeling analytics, and data analysis to identify and contain the infection. Additionally, large numbers of key players are investing in research and development activities to launch new devices that will help governments during this pandemic. For instance, in April 2020, Brisbane-based Bigmate Monitoring Services Pty Ltd. launched its thermal imaging system for workers. Once located near the entrance or corridor, the device known as 'Thermy' can sense several sections with elevated temperatures concurrently in real-time. With Thermy, companies may set up a pre-screening monitoring program to recognize individuals with elevated skin temperatures, which, in effect, can minimize the threat of virus impact on the workforce.
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Growing Usage of SWIR Cameras for Machine Vision and Quality Inspection Activities to Boost the Market
Shortwave infrared imaging through InGaAs-based sensors is well equipped for the non-destructive detection of objects, their structure, coatings as well as other features. SWIR imagery is starting to gain an expanding position in industrial machine vision for quality evaluation. SWIR imagers often alluded to as Near Infrared (NIR) imagers can see objects and occurrences that vision and thermal cameras are unable to do. They are smaller and lighter than other thermal cameras and cost much less than all of them.
SWIR imaging cameras open up a broad variety of possibilities for computer vision applications as they identify unseen component flaws as well as the required characteristics. For example, during the production phase of bottles, the SWIR InGaAs cameras allow inside and outside examination of the glass bottles. Due to their ability to perform thermal imaging of hot objects between 250° C and 800° C, these cameras can monitor the consistency of the temperature and the cooling rate of the glass. Manufacturers are thus able to track output constantly to optimize yield and efficiency.
Increasing Adoption of SWIR Cameras in Military and Defense to Capture Images with High Sensitivity and Wide Dynamic Range to Fuel the Market
Infrared imaging (IR) is utilized in numerous military and defense applications to empower high-goals vision and recognizable proof in close and complete obscurity. In order to reduce expenses, the military and defense industry is leaning towards the adoption of innovative cameras and mounted devices to achieve flawless vision capabilities under adverse weather conditions. Owing to the recent technological advances, optics organizations and government labs are focused on developing IR cameras with improved low-light-level vision, enhanced recognition capability, and reduced power consumption and cost.
Shortwave infrared cameras play an essential role in the military and defense industry owing to their ability to detect and track motions occurring under the cloak of darkness. New advances in IR technology such as the use of sensors, utilization of novel materials, reduced pixel pitch, and advanced cooling and vacuum processing are being implemented by companies. These advances are making it possible to carry out difficult functionalities such as imaging a hazard passing behind foliage at night. Attributed to the reduced ambient interference or noise in the high bandwidth portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, as well as the increased capacity to distinguish between ground materials, these cameras open the door for automatic information extraction by easily detecting objects.
The SWIR area camera scatters less than visible wavelength and can detect low-level reflected light at longer distances. This has made this camera more applicable in low-light areas over long distances. SWIR imagery often exists at 1.5 μm, a safe wavelength preferred for military and defense imaging applications.
Compact, low-power consuming and lightweight SWIR InGaAs (Indium Gallium Arsenide) cameras can be mounted on aircraft and UAVs (unmanned air vehicles) for observation and surveillance purposes. On the other hand, hyper-spectral shortwave infrared cameras may be used to identify the distinctive spectral signature of objects of military significance, such as camouflage material. Therefore, military and defense vertical is one of the early and important adopters of shortwave infrared cameras, reflecting strong SWIR camera market growth during the forecast period.
Advancements in Agriculture to Boost the Market Growth
Built for military use, infrared scanning has now become a widely used technology for purposes such as forecasting water shortages in crops and fruit yields, managing irrigation scheduling, identification of disease and plant pests, and testing fruit ripening. The use of thermal imaging has gained prominence in the agriculture industry in recent years. Owing to its decreased cost and easy operating procedures, these cameras have created possibilities for their use in a variety of agricultural and food production operations and are currently optimized for incorporation into precision farming.
Besides, these cameras provide a wide range of applications in the agriculture sector, which include nursery control, irrigation preparation, soil salinity identification, infection and pathogen detection, yield estimate, maturity evaluation, and bruising detection. Efficiency is an important aspect in farming, with farmers are using SWIR imaging technology to identify where to focus their field workers' efforts and reduce the number of direct inspections of crop rows and individual plants. Additionally, these cameras have enabled researchers and farmers to combat drought conditions and other plant health threats. SWIR imaging also enables farmers and agriculture researchers to consider crop conditions and to fix problems such as nutritional shortage of moisture stress before they cause long-term losses. Data extracted from SWIR imagery will also provide them with the information they need to make investment-related decisions. For example, imagery may include approximate crop yields that can help decide if extra expenditure on irrigation or fertilizers is needed.
Government Regulations on Import and Export for SWIR Camera To Hinder the Market
The electronics and semiconductor industry is among the main civilian applications of IR imaging devices. Driven by applications in military activities and adopted by electronics and related industries, including the photovoltaic industry, shortwave infrared cameras can be used in most major vertical sectors including chemical, medicinal, metal, and glass manufacturing, agricultural, protection, transport and security industries.
Export of thermal cameras, infrared cameras, and infrared sensors to other countries can be prohibited by the United States Government export regulations on thermal cameras and others come under the Internal Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). ITAR states that the unlicensed export of thermal imaging cameras can cause penalties and serious consequences. The Act establishes a licensing provision on all exports and re-exports of military products manufactured outside the United States that are not subject to the ITAR, irrespective of the degree of U.S. production, except that certain military items contain some thermal imaging cameras that are subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). Such stringent regulations imposed by governments across the world are projected to limit the adoption of these cameras.
SWIR Linear Camera Segment Dominated the Market Share
By product analysis, the market has been bifurcated into SWIR linear camera and SWIR area camera.
The linear scan camera segment is expected to witness high growth during the forecast period mainly attributed to the high resolution and efficiency it provides. Since line-scan cameras use a thin strip of the pixel, they may create continuous images that are not restricted to a fixed vertical range, allowing for far greater resolution than area-scan sensors in both 2D and 3D. Linear type of cameras are ideally designed for applications involving the detection of quick-moving objects. Also, these cameras have fewer expenses than that of area scanning cameras, resulting in their wide acceptance in industry verticals. Several key players in the market are launching large a variety of SWIR linear cameras for industrial purposes. For instance, in November 2019, Hamamatsu Photonics K.K., a Japanese manufacturer of optical sensors, IR cameras, and electric light sources, launched ‘C15333-10E InGaAs’ line scan camera device for inline non-destructive inspection incorporated with SWIR imaging technology. The new camera with a fast line rate is ideal for industrial applications due to its low-noise and high-sensitivity properties. In addition, low cost and lightweight size of the camera makes it convenient to integrate with inline inspection systems.
On the other side, the area-scan cameras have a more general function. Used in most computer vision devices, they include a broad pixel matrix that captures a 2D view of a specified scene in a single processing period of horizontal and vertical components, for example, in 640 x 480 pixels. Although they can have smoother setup and orientation, they are not often effective where an item under examination changes or cannot be used in a realistic size field of view.
Adoption of SWIR Cameras for Security and Surveillance to Account for Maximum Share
By application, the market has been categorized into inspection and quality control, security and surveillance, astronomy, thermography, spectroscopy, and others.
Perimeter protection with a defense-in-depth approach is a standard option for many facilities as presented in the new light of global threats and sabotage. Shortwave infrared camera provides major advantages in facilities where ambient conditions such as rain, cloud, and fog are usual.
The thermography segment is expected to register highest growth during the forecast period. This growth is mainly owing to the increased acceptance of SWIR imaging cameras for temperature detection among governments to fight against coronavirus.
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Adoption of SWIR Cameras in Scientific Research and Life Sciences to Spike
Based on end-use, the market is categorized into industrial manufacturing, aerospace and defense, scientific research and life sciences, and others.
SWIR development is an evolutionary move for researchers to collect further data that can be viewed as valuable knowledge. Scientists across the world are introducing cost-effective SWIR imagers to significantly extend their scientific capacities into an extended and deeper study of different materials.
SWIR imaging is a powerful technology for deep photon penetration of biological tissues, especially as a substitute for ionizing radiation techniques such as X-rays that may inflict damage. This is widely used as a visual screening method for preclinical trials in animals, with the ability to substitute medical imaging devices in many clinical environments in the future.
North America SWIR Camera Market, 2019 (USD Million)
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Geographically, the market is segmented across five major regions, namely, North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East & Africa, and Latin America. They are further categorized into countries.
Owing to the strong demand for thermal imaging equipment across a variety of law enforcement operations, North America is expected to lead the SWIR camera market share in the coming years. The semiconductor industry in the region is poised to continue its rapid growth in the forecast period owing to advanced innovations such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), autonomous driving, 5G technology, and the Internet of Things (IoT), along with steady R&D investment and rivalry among key players. The electronics sector of the region, led by groundbreaking advances in semiconductor devices, is helping key players to launch advanced thermal imaging devices and helped in economic growth, enhanced quality of life, and strong defense network technologies. Organizations in the U.S. and Canada have driven many of these innovations, and their success in semiconductor technologies has strongly influenced the nation's role in global economic and military strength. United States military budget is the largest in the world and one of the main adopters for Shortwave infrared cameras and thermal imaging equipment. Additionally, the increased adoption of shortwave infrared cameras and imaging technology in the healthcare and automotive industry is expected to make constructive addition to the growth of the market.
Asia-Pacific, mainly China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, are host to some of the world's top semiconductor companies. Owing to its booming economy, increasing mobile connectivity and the development of cloud computing, the region has become a hub for the semiconductor industry. China, in particular, accounts for almost half of the total market value of global customers. China is aiming to strengthen its footprint in the electronics industry and to grow to become a global superpower at the same time. On the other hand, Japan is a significant manufacturer of semiconductor products, high-end machinery, and unique semiconductors, whilst South Korea has assumed a leading role in the global for thermal imaging and metal detectors industry. Moreover, the stringent rules and regulations by governments to empower the healthcare industry with advanced technologies to provide patient-centric services and constantly evolving manufacturing industry is one of the major reasons for the market growth in the region.
In recent years, the Middle East thermal imaging and SWIR camera market has progressed to a great extent mainly owing to the rising demand of thermal detectors and similar devices from the defense vertical and a constant focus on improving the region’s healthcare industry.
New Imaging Technologies (NIT) Emerged as Prominent Player with Strong Portfolio in SWIR Technology
New Imaging Technologies designs, develops, and manufactures HDR InGaAs SWIR Cameras, CMOS products, and other semiconductor products. NIT provides a diversified portfolio that covers a variety of uses in government and security, manufacturing, and commercial markets.
Key Players Focus on Enhancing Product Efficiency through Partnerships and Introduction of New Products
The demand for SWIR imaging technologies is consolidating owing to the involvement of major vendors investing in R&D to improve on the products offered. Market leading players such as Allied Vision Technologies GmbH, FLIR Systems, Inc., InView Technology Corporation, and IRCameras LLC are launching innovative products owing to substantial advancements in imaging technologies. Strategic alliances and mergers & acquisitions are pursued by industry leaders to broaden their business and product range.
This market report offers qualitative and quantitative insights on the market and the detailed analysis of market size & growth rate for all possible segments in the market. Along with this, the report provides an elaborative analysis of market dynamics, emerging trends, and competitive landscape.
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Key insights provided in the report are the adoption trends of these type of cameras by individual segments, recent industry developments such as mergers & acquisitions, consolidated SWOT analysis of key players, partnerships, Porter’s five forces analysis, and business strategies of leading market players, key industry trends, macro, and micro-economic indicators.
2016 – 2027
2020 – 2027
2016 – 2018
Value (USD million)
As per Fortune Business Insights study, the global market is predicted to reach USD 419.0 million by 2027, with a CAGR of 11.4% (2020 – 2027).
They are used in industrial manufacturing, aerospace and defense, scientific research and life sciences, and others.
In 2019, the global market size was at USD 178.9 million and it is anticipated to reach USD 419.0 million by 2027, reflecting a CAGR of 11.4% during the forecast period from 2020 to 2027.
SWIR Area Camera is the leading segment in the market.
Rising popularity of these cameras in military and defense purpose is driving the market.
Some of the major players in the market are New Imaging Technologies (NIT), FLIR Systems Inc., Teledyne Princeton Instruments, Xenics, and Allied Vision Technologies GmbH
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