The tragic bombings that took place during the Boston Marathon earlier this month are likely to spur a dramatic increase in spending on video surveillance equipment, according to market research firm IHS.
According to the latest forecast from IMS Research—now part of IHS--worldwide revenue for video surveillance is projected to rise to $20.5 billion in 2016, up a resounding 114 percent from $9.6 billion in 2010. Following the bombings, IHS said the growth may be even more dramatic (the firm is currently in the process of revising its forecast).
History has shown that high-profile terrorism incidents such as the Boston Marathon bombings can drive increased government spending on security, IHS noted.
Video surveillance is already near ubiquitous in some places, much to the chagrin of privacy advocates. But as the technology gets less expensive and more high-profile terrorist attacks are carried out throughout the world, the simple fact is that more and more places are going to be under constant video surveillance. That's just the way it is.
"The growth outlook of the video surveillance industry is subject to significant variances," said Paul Everett, senior manager of video surveillance at IHS.
According to Everett, the video surveillance market is dependent upon the vagaries of several intertwined factors that are difficult or impossible to predict, including economic conditions, government spending and terrorism incidents.
"While it’s too early to tell exactly what impact the Boston bombing will have, past events—like 9/11 and the London Underground bombings—have led to increased government spending on video surveillance for public spaces, particularly in the transport sector," Everett said.
Government funding and legislation play a major role in total video-surveillance spending, even though economic factors are also an important consideration according to IHS. The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has issued 11 grants for physical-security equipment and video surveillance that have generated millions of dollars of spending, the firm said.
New technologies are also contributing to rising spending on video surveillance, IHS said. Currently the market is undergoing a transition from analog to network solutions that enable network-based control and the monitoring of security and surveillance. By 2014, the global market for network-based video surveillance will climb to $7 billion, surpassing for the first time ever the analog segment at $6.5 billion, according to IHS.
Three aspects of this investigation stand out to me: The crowd sourcing aspect, the amount of openness from the Government (I found myself going to the Boston Police and FBI websites for news as much as any of the media outlets) and the Government / private citizen cooperation.
Over time, with a lot of detailed analysis of the unfolding events, I'm sure plenty of people will find plenty of things to question, but when something unfolds that fast, it's amazing that anyone can keep anything straight.
Two separate trends came together for forensic success in this case: the existence of fixed security cameras and the near ubiquitous presence of media / personal cameras at a popular event. Crowdsourcing in criminal investigations is an emerging trend (and one with a dark side when false accusations are made early in the process).
"... much to the chagrin of privacy advocates."
Would these privacy advocates have preferred that the Tsarnaev brothers had gotten away to perform their deeds elsewhere? They were apparently bound for NYC. The presence of cameras made their identity known in record time.
One problem I see is that many of these same privacy advocates also oppose strict immigration checks, which may have helped in this one case, at least. The FBI had been warned. Of course, immmigration checks would have done nothing in many other recent high profile cases, but cameras can and have helped every time.