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The global thermal camera market size stood at USD 1,888.5 million in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 3,642.8 million by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 8.6% during the forecast period.
The thermal camera market growth is mainly driven by the increasing adoption of thermal cameras in different end-use verticals such as military and defense, healthcare and life science, and manufacturing. Advances in the Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine Learning (ML) have opened up new prospects across industrial applications of these devices. These advancements have led to the deployment of a wide variety of sensors to track environmental and physiological details. Thermal imaging technology has recently gained acceptance as one of the potential methods to track physiological details such as skin temperature detection, evaluation of human tumors, and many other niche areas. Incorporating thermal cameras into predictive maintenance is helping manufacturers to save money by potentially analyzing machine failures and detecting hotspots that could lead to expensive production losses and manufacturing downtime. For instance, FLIR Systems, one of the leading manufacturers of thermal imaging products, provides a wide range of thermal cameras such as A310 PT, FLIR A310, FLIR A310 EX, and others that enable manufacturers to conduct in-process monitoring and ensure product quality.
Demand for Thermal Imaging has Increased Drastically as COVID-19 Soars
The spread of the COVID-19 virus has posed a significant obstacle to global resources and a competition to adopt advanced technology and to develop and introduce newer ones has ensued. At present, the use of thermal imaging cameras is in focus as these devices enable detection of high body temperature in an individual.
Thermal imaging devices can aid with coronavirus fever monitoring by detecting increased body temperatures in traveling people, such as travelers, pedestrians, and tourists, with sensitivity up to ±0.3 °C. Anyone with a temperature above absolute zero produces a measurable volume of infrared (IR) radiation that can be detected with the help of these cameras. Drones fitted with thermal imaging capabilities were used to track activity and body temperature in Wuhan, China, the initial epicenter of the crisis. Now, several handheld and mounted thermal cameras are being illustrated for their potential to protect key workers. Each of them has somewhat different capabilities and modes of usage, but all of them essentially seek to calculate body temperature and mark possible carriers of the virus using the subsequent reading. Additionally, increasing research and development activities by key players to launch advanced cameras is expected to fuel the market during the forecast period. For instance, FLIR Systems launched FLIR A400/A700 thermal smart sensor and fixed camera solutions to help healthcare companies and authorities measure elevated body temperature.
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Adoption of Thermal Imaging Devices for Security and Surveillance Applications to Aid Market Growth
Thermal cameras can be used in multiple applications for accurate detection of temperature. Their popularity is continuously rising owing to features such as identifying false alarms and saving both time and resources to minimize the overall cost of ownership (TCO). Owing to their broader range of detection capabilities, these devices minimize the need for multiple cameras, since a single thermal camera can cover wide areas and protect the whole perimeter. They can also record the heat-based pictures from people and objects. This means that they can see a clear image of the possible threat in low vision areas.
Theses cameras overcome almost all of the problems inherent in traditional outdoor cameras, providing significantly better efficiency, precision, and increased processing along with a substantial reduction in false alarms. Improvements in thermal imaging technologies have rendered thermal imaging cameras more efficient than ever before, allowing companies of all sizes to strengthen their security cost-effectively.
Increased Adoption of Thermal Camera in Automotive Testing Applications to Drive Growth
Thermal cameras can be utilized in a wide variety of applications in the automotive testing sector, from computer architecture and vehicle thermal control to break, tire, and engine monitoring, and testing of next-generation internal combustion and electric propulsion as well. And as thermal imaging technology gets more compact, affordable, and advanced, the usage of these cameras will begin to increase with the rising needs of the industry. As the automotive industry continues to evolve and expand, new technologies and specifications for thermal imaging are being developed, and key players are continuing to build products and solutions to meet these ever-growing industry needs.
There are various benefits of utilizing thermal imaging over more traditional temperature control instruments such as thermocouples, IR spot weapons, RTDs, etc. The primary benefit of a thermal camera device is Its capacity to have thousands of temperature-measuring values in a simage in which thermocouples, spot guns, or resistance temperature detectors (RTDs) merely record a single point temperature. This allows engineers and automotive field technicians to see the thermal profiles of the objects being examined and to obtain a better view into the general thermal make-up of the system by utilizing an infrared camera. Thermal imaging is fully non-contact and removes the need to install sensors and costly instruments, which cuts processing times, saves costs, and enables manufacturers to launch their products faster.
Thermal Cameras Help Oil and Gas Industries to Detect Leakages in Pipelines
The oil and gas sector confronts a wide number of maintenance problems such as pipe failures releasing fugitive emissions and hazardous gas leaks into the atmosphere and breakdown of turbines, the generators, and the valves. Invisible oil and gas leakages are difficult and time-consuming to identify using conventional inspection methods, particularly when there are several components to be inspected. Thermal cameras are commonly used in the oil and gas industry as preventive maintenance devices that help diagnose leakage in reservoirs, pipelines, and facilities. Thus, they enhance protection, competitiveness, and reduce pollution with less chance of disruption due to regulatory agencies' behavior. These cameras allow inspectors and maintenance teams to detect leaks more quickly and immediately identify the source, leading to prompt repairs, reduced industrial gas emissions, and increased regulatory compliance. Several key players in the market are launching a large variety of such devices for the oil and gas industry. These factors are expected to drive the market considerably in the foreseeable years.
High Costs Associated with Thermal Cameras May Hinder Growth of the Market
Thermal imaging technology is safe and quiet, but just like other technologies, it comes with certain disadvantages. The cost of these cameras is limiting their uptake. These devices are impacted by weather and because they are based on temperature, the image contrast is low. The cost of the infrared thermal imaging system is still the main constraint restricting its widespread usage, but with the introduction of non-cooled infrared plane arrays, it can now provide high resolution and efficiency at low costs. Through the advancement of innovations, breakthroughs in core developments, and increased production performance, potential costs of thermal cameras can be drastically reduced.
Handheld Thermal Camera Accounted for Maximum Share
By product analysis, the market has been segmented into the handheld, mounted, scopes, and goggles.
The handheld thermal camera segment is expected to witness the highest growth during the forecast period, mainly attributed to its broader range of applications such as thermal imaging, predictive maintenance, medical imaging, and others. Additionally, increased demand for these devices to measure body temperature and for other applications in the healthcare sector has further elevated the demand for these cameras.
Mount thermal cameras are not only used to increase production efficiency or to maximize quality assurance, but also play a vital role in early fire warning, smoke detection, and protection and surveillance applications.
Cooled Thermal Camera Segment to Account for Maximum Share
By technology, the global market has been categorized into cooled and uncooled.
Thermal imaging devices with a cooled detector are expected to witness high adoption during the forecast period, mainly on account of their fast capture rate and large thermal isolation band. Besides this, cooled cameras usually have wider magnification capacities owing to shorter infrared wavelength sensing. Since cooled cameras have higher resistance properties, lenses with more optical elements or thicker components may be used without reducing the signal-to-noise ratio to increase the magnification efficiency.
Adoption of Thermal Cameras for Security and Surveillance Purposes to Surge
Based on application, the market is categorized into monitoring and inspection, security and surveillance, detection and measurement, and search and rescue operations.
Among these, the adoption of these cameras for security and surveillance application has grown at an exponential rate. These devices are utilized in a wide variety of security and surveillance applications in the fields of safety, homeland security, perimeter security, and law enforcement due to their outstanding performance, superior image processing capability, less image distortion, and high field durability.
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Healthcare and Life Sciences Segment to Exhibit the Highest CAGR
Based on end-use, the market is categorized into military and defense, industrial, commercial, healthcare and life sciences, residential, automotive, and oil and gas.
Researchers and healthcare companies across the world are using thermal cameras to capture and record changes in skin temperature for medical diagnostic purposes. Through studying the thermal images captured via cameras, researchers collect details on metabolic and vascular functions to detect irregular physiological changes. These devices are also used to examine a broad variety of diseases where the temperature of the skin may indicate the existence of inflammation or damage to the underlying tissues or where blood flow is enhanced or decreased owing to clinical deformity. Most doctors are now utilizing thermal imaging devices to diagnose a variety of medical problems such as arthritis, recurrent strain trauma, body discomfort, and circulatory disorders.
North America Thermal 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 increased demand for thermal imaging technologies among the manufacturing and commercial sectors, our study suggests, North America is expected to dominate this market share. Further, surging demand for these cameras for security and surveillance purposes in the military & defense vertical is also expected to positively impact the market growth in North America. The implementation of IoT and advanced thermal imaging solutions is progressing more gradually than anticipated, with semiconductor companies providing additional help to drive progress across emerging imaging technologies. Developers and business leaders in the region are focused on the technical potential of the thermal technology, including the capacity to capture and interpret large quantities of industrial data that could contribute to industrial safety and compliance management, while enhancing protection, financial returns, and convenience.
Europe holds the second-largest share of the global market. Increasing demand for defense and monitoring is projected to boost the market in this region. The gradual decline in the prices of thermal cameras and the availability of thermal sensors at low prices has also been a major driving factor for the demand in this region. Moreover, countries such as France, the U.K., and Italy are the raising their military spending and are thus accounting for major market shares.
The market in Asia-Pacific is expected to display an impressive growth trajectory, owing to intensification of border disputes between countries such as India and China. These conflicts are compelling countries to ramp up their military expenditure and equip their armed forces with advanced surveillance technologies such as thermal cameras.
Axis Communications AB Emerged as Major Player with Strong and Innovative Portfolio
Axis Communications designs, develops, and manufactures broader product lines of innovative thermal imaging devices. Its cameras provide wide bandwidth in low-light environments and are perfect devices for tracking individuals and items, with 24/7 monitoring. The company offers a wide range of thermal cameras such as AXIS Q19 Thermal Network Camera Series, AXIS Q86 PT Thermal Network Cameras, AXIS Q29 Temperature Alarm Camera, and others.
The thermal camera 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, market segmentation, and competitive landscape.
An Infographic Representation of Thermal Camera Market
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Key insights provided in the report are the adoption trends of the thermal camera, 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 3,642.8 million by 2027, with a CAGR of 8.6% (2020 – 2027).
Thermal cameras are used in military and defense, industrial, commercial, healthcare and life sciences, residential applications
In 2019, the global market was USD 1,888.5 million and it is anticipated to reach USD 3,642.8 million by 2027, reflecting a CAGR of 8.6% during the forecast period from 2020 to 2027.
The mounted thermal camera segment is the leading segment in the market
Adoption of thermal cameras for security and surveillance applications is driving the market.
Some of the major players in the market are New Imaging Technologies (NIT), FLIR Systems Inc., Axis Communications AB, Lynred, Synectics plc, and Seek Thermal,
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