Consumer Electronics Show Debuts Camera-Centric Tech

CES Las Vegas LogoIn Las Vegas this week, the International Consumer Electronics Show is taking place, introducing attendees to the most cutting-edge technologies well before they are available to the general public.  This year, the most notable camera-centered products include security cameras with facial recognition and user-friendly medical cameras.

Netatmo Security Camera

Several sources, including CNET and Gizmodo, have published stories on Netatmo’s new security camera with facial recognition.  Its sophisticated software can recognize family members who are at home and provide a video feed that can be viewed remotely, should there be an intruder who is not recognized.

Camera for phone from CellscopeA startup called CellScope exhibiting at the show was featured on NPR; it has built a small ear probe that clips onto the top of your iPhone camera. Instead of rushing to the emergency room, this product allows you to stream footage from inside the ear to an app, so the images can then be examined by a doctor.

Finally, there were two exciting announcements from the show, first that Omnivision and Inuitive Ltd. have created a partnership to develop a reference design for building compact modules that enable 3D imaging in consumer electronics, which will enable advanced features such as augmented reality, 3D scanning, and post processing photography. Second, Jabil Circuit and Pelican Imaging also announced a partnership, this one to develop a high-resolution array camera module using the most advanced digital optics to allow for accurate depth acquisition.

Compact camera modules are essential to new technologies and consumer electronics of the future, because, as evidenced by these examples, when we produce more powerful images with high quality cameras, we can also create useful tools with which to utilize them.

Camera Module Market Update: Growth Expected

The global camera module market is expected to see a compound annual growth rate of nearly 20% over the next six years, increasing the market from what was $12 billion in 2012 to over $43 billion in 2019, as forecasted by Research and Markets and Transparency Market Research in recently released reports.

This growth is driven by numerous segments.  The smart phone and tablet PC segment is the largest, expected to grow at the rate of 21.9% from 2013 to 2019, followed by Global Camera Module Sales are Growingconsumer electronics (excluding smartphones and tablets).  Other key factors behind the market’s growth will be increasing use in the automotive sector and rapidly improving technology: as smartphone camera modules are increasingly 5MP, 8MP, and 13 MP or more, and offer higher pixel front-facing cameras, market demand is expected to increase globally.

The shipments of camera modules in smartphones were about 80% of the global market in 2012. While the automotive camera market is indeed growing, it will remain dwarfed by the mobile device camera market.  TechNavio’s analysts forecast the Global Automotive Camera Module market to reach $1,554.72 million by 2016. In other words, when the automotive camera module market will be at about $1.5 billion, the smartphone/tablet market will likely be at $24.8 billion.

Although TechNavio’s Industry forecast predicted a significantly smaller growth rate (CAGR) of 13.2% per year for overall camera module sales from 2013-2018, its conclusion regarding driving factors and overall growth forecast concurred with the other reports.