The Thermal Imaging Systems market is poised for noteworthy expansion driven by its significant application in pivotal sectors such as defense, security, automotive and healthcare. These infrared (IR) and handheld thermal imaging systems - now miniaturized due to technological advancements - offer high efficiency and improved ease of use, leading to ubiquitous applications across various industry verticals.
Beyond the traditional applications, rising demand for surveillance, decreasing costs of thermal cameras, and rapid development of high-speed infrared cameras are further fueling market growth. Modern warfare needs, increased homeland security budgets, and technological advancements by key players in the market emphasize the importance of thermal imaging systems. Regardless of a few challenges such as inaccurate measurements and image color issues, the use of thermal imaging systems particularly in military, defense, and automotive sectors is only expected to rise.
- Companies have also miniaturized IR and thermal imaging sensors due to technological advancements, making them highly efficient, thereby increasing their ease of use. Handheld IR and thermal imaging systems gain traction for their portability and find their applications in various industry verticals, such as hospitals, saving repair times and heating costs.
- Further, automotive applications are expected to gain traction in the next five years. The increasing use of thermal imaging systems such as thermal cameras in the automotive sector to reduce the risks in driving, especially at night, is a significant reason for this application's thermal imaging market growth.
- Moreover, recent developments in cooled mercury cadmium telluride (MCT or HgCdTe) infrared detector technology have made the development of high-performance infrared cameras possible for various demanding thermal imaging applications.
- The factors, such as rising demand for surveillance across various verticals, gradually decreasing thermal cameras cost, and rapid development of high-speed infrared cameras, lead to increased demand for IR cameras, consequently driving the market growth.
- However, inaccurate measurements and image color issues associated with the cameras are challenging market growth. The industries heavily relying on IR cameras are military, defense, and automotive.
- The COVID-19 Pandemic has increased demand for thermal imaging solutions across various industries, including healthcare, life science, transportation, and others. Several firms have reduced the transmission of illness at their locations. Authorities in nations such as China use thermal cameras and eyewear to identify pedestrians in high temperatures. Personnel addition, police are scanning and identifying persons with elevated body temperatures using AI-powered thermal smart helmets.
Key Market Trends
Applications in Military to Drive the Market Growth
- Military and defense were the first applications of IR and thermal imaging systems. With the defense sector's rising investments in surveillance, IR, and thermal imaging systems, adoption is expected to increase further.
- In the military sector, governments worldwide invest in improving next-generation technology by providing military personnel with improved and accurate information. This has impacted the growth of especially short-wavelength IR cameras, as the adoption of IR thermography devices has increased in the defense sector.
- Globally, there is a growing trend of rising crimes and violence. This factor has raised the homeland security forces' budgets to procure advanced protective systems and gadgets. Modern warfare has become more asymmetric, with increasing non-lethal and lethal weapons.
- The key players in the market are constantly working on thermal imaging systems to introduce technological advancements. For instance, in June 2021, Raytheon Technologies Research Center is working with the Collins Aerospace and Pratt & Whitney businesses to break new ground on power and thermal management technologies that will enable future military aircraft while supporting updates to the present fleet.
- The combined number of military personnel among NATO member countries was approximately 3.3 million in 2021, increasing from 3.27 million the previous year. NATO nations' total defense spending in 2021 was approximately USD 1.17 trillion, the maximum amount NATO members have collectively spent on defense from 2014 to 2021.
North America to Hold the Significant Market Share
- North America is expected to hold a significant market share for the thermal imaging systems market during the forecast period due to the increasing adoption of infrared imaging products and services by organizations in the region for applications such as surveillance, threat detection, automotive, predictive maintenance, and others.
- Companies in the region are developing new products or solutions to leverage the growing opportunity. For instance, in February 2021, the FLIR Boson-based thermal camera premiered in Veoneer's fourth-generation Night Vision System as an option on the all-new Cadillac Escalade, identical to the FLIR Thermal Automotive Development Kit (ADK). The new thermal-vision system offers a broader field of view with four times the resolution compared to the previous generation, extending road coverage, improving situational awareness, and displaying a sharper image to the driver.
- According to a survey conducted by NATO, in 2021, the United States is estimated to spend 3.52%of its gross domestic product on defense expenditures. This makes them the country with the highest share of GDP spent on the defense budget in 2021. Such investments in the region drive the market.
- Most companies are keen on developing an advanced IR camera to provide detailed infrared information to gain a competitive edge over others. For instance, in April 2021, Seek Thermal launched Reveal FirePro X, the latest personal thermal imaging camera (TIC) for firefighters. The upgraded handheld thermal imaging camera provides a new charging port, making it even more durable and easier to access when needed.
- Autonomous cars have been witnessing significant adoption in Canada. In addition, companies such as Uber have also tested driverless technology in Phoenix, Arizona, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Competitive LandscapeThe thermal imaging system market is fragmented during the forecast period, with a considerable number of regional and global players. The major players in the market, such as Flir Systems Inc., Opgal Optronic Industries Ltd, Fluke Corporation, Testo Inc., and Seek Thermal Inc., are trying to gain more market share with product innovations. In June 2022, Teledyne FLIR Systems Inc. announced the addition of an E52 camera to their Exx thermal Imaging device line, which now includes the E54, E96, E86, and E76 versions. The new E52 camera features professional-level thermal resolution to guarantee photos are simple to see and on-camera routing functionality to boost field survey efficiency.
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Table of Contents
1.2 Scope of the Study
4.2 Industry Supply Chain Analysis (Includes list of Thermal Camera Manufacturers, Thermal Imager/Detector Suppliers, Lens Set Suppliers, etc.)
4.3 Industry Attractiveness - Porter Five Forces
4.3.1 Bargaining Power of Suppliers
4.3.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers
4.3.3 Threat of New Entrants
4.3.4 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry
4.3.5 Threat of Substitutes
4.4 Impact of COVID-19 on the Thermal Imaging Industry?
4.5 Global Pricing Analysis - By Application and By Technology
5.1.1 Reducing Cost of Thermal Imaging Systems has Led to the Adoption Across various End Users?
5.1.2 Increasing Spending by Government and Defense Activities?
5.2 Market Restraints
5.2.1 Lack of Regular Support and Services?
6.1.4 Personal Vision Systems?
6.1.5 Fire Fighting?
6.1.6 Smartphones (Ruggedized)
6.1.7 Other Applications (Automotive, Maritime, and other commercial)?
6.2 By Form Factor
6.2.1 Handheld Imaging Devices and Systems
6.2.2 Fixed Mounted (Rotary and Non-Rotary)?
6.3 By Country
6.3.1 North America
6.3.4 Rest of the World?
7.1.1 Flir Systems Inc.
7.1.2 Opgal Optronic Industries Ltd
7.1.3 Fluke Corporation
7.1.4 Testo Inc.?
7.1.5 Seek Thermal Inc.?
7.1.6 Trijicon Inc.?
7.1.7 Bullard GmbH?
7.1.8 HT Italia S.r.l.?
7.1.9 Raytheon Co.?
A selection of companies mentioned in this report includes:
- Flir Systems Inc.
- Opgal Optronic Industries Ltd
- Fluke Corporation
- Testo Inc.
- Seek Thermal Inc.
- Trijicon Inc.
- Bullard GmbH
- HT Italia S.r.l.
- Raytheon Co.