Impact of COVID-19 on the video surveillance industry
Based on the reports of the London-based Omdia analyst team, last year the share of Chinese manufacturers (and at the same time the consumer) of video surveillance products was 90%, and the share of the global market revenue in this segment of the IT market was 45%. However, by mid-2020, forces were redistributed: China lost ground due to difficulties with logistics and a reduction in production, and other manufacturers were actively involved in the fight against COVID-19.
Let’s talk about the impact of COVID-19 on the video surveillance market on a global and Russian scale.
Forecasted market stagnation or rapid growth?
In early March 2020, many experts predicted the fall and stagnation of the video surveillance market, focusing on China’s status as the world’s largest player. Accordingly, any changes in the behavior of the Chinese in this area will have a proportional impact on the entire market. In particular, experts noted the following factors:
- disruptions in production due to mass diseases, lack of labor;
- decrease in domestic demand and consumption of video surveillance products;
- late return to work of Chinese enterprises due to the New Years holiday (national celebration according to the lunar calendar);
- logistics difficulties and threats of supply disruptions due to closed borders.
However, the demand for video surveillance with new specific functions has only increased. And the explanation for this is as follows:
- The most active buyers of video analytical solutions are large and medium-sized businesses, in particular shops and retailers. According to Ernst&Young, 41% of enterprises in the world have started to accelerate business automation due to the virus and worsening economic situation.
- If earlier companies were concerned only with the safety of facilities, material assets, and reduction of financial losses, today the incentive is health and huge penalties from the government.
- The market driver is intelligent video analytics that can protect enterprises from epidemics and economic losses.
Allied Market Research analysts and experts predict that the global video monitoring market will increase to $87 billion by 2025, which is 2 times more than at present.
Can video surveillance beat COVID-19?
There is no effective treatment yet, the clinical picture after vaccination is not yet clear, so all the main measures to combat the coronavirus are related to prevention and minimization of personal contact. In this case, the main burden fell on the shoulders of business and citizens themselves. That is why the entire world community has high hopes for intelligent video surveillance.
Advantages of contactless technologies
Contactless technologies minimize the time spent and communication of a person in public places. For example, up until now, the method of identifying people in a large office center was associated with physical actions (access cards, fingerprinting, or entering a code). But due to the pandemic, such methods are recognized as dangerous. This flaw can be corrected by a contactless video surveillance system: an employee approaches the camera, their face is recognized, the passage opens.
Humanity has already tried and evaluated different contactless communication methods:
- online tours;
- remote learning;
- contactless payment and delivery of goods, including the purchase of gasoline, without leaving the car;
- viewing of real estate objects without personal presence.
At the same time, wireless technologies for video surveillance and video broadcasting have become of great importance.
Prevention of abnormal situations
Promptly developed antiviral technologies are already working in most countries. For example, we are talking about:
- video monitoring of the mask regime at enterprises, in transport and shopping and entertainment centers;
- following social distancing;
- detection of high temperature (thermal imagers and sensors).
In cases of violation, the predictive video analytical system informs the security service or blocks the entry channels on its own.
Most experts are forced to admit that there is a very thin line between security and privacy in Russia. The number of security cameras is growing rapidly, and the number of entities involved in this area (government authorities and law enforcement agencies, business representatives and related organizations, as well as the population of the country) is rapidly increasing. At the same time, there are more questions about privacy than answers. A substantial study of the legislative base and legal framework is required.
Some experts openly declare that video surveillance cannot compete in the matter of violating a person’s privacy with their smartphone, PC and various smart gadgets. All modern devices generate a huge digital footprint, and data leakage processes have always been and will be at hand. These are the realities of our life.
Lessons for business
Humanity will be able to feel the full impact of COVID-19 on the economy over the next year or so. All industries and spheres are affected (stock exchanges, mining, manufacturing, sports, film industry, tourism, etc.).
You won’t be able to turn back the clock, but business today can learn 4 main lessons:
- reassessment of business resilience to external factors;
- reassessment of remote work and communication capabilities;
- reassessment and coordination of supply chains for manufacturing components;
- reassessment of the dependence on a foreign (in 90% of cases Chinese) manufacturers.
The world has changed and will never be the same. Recognizing this fact, the video surveillance market has made a rapid leap towards intelligent functions such as facial and social recognition, list keeping, introduction of contactless access and thermometry. It is worth recognizing that the number of video cameras around us will also grow, and the goal of their introduction is the noblest one — preserving people’s health and fighting the invisible enemy that is COVID-19.