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  • Published In : Apr 2024
  • Code : CMI6832
  • Pages :155
  • Formats :
      Excel and PDF
  • Industry : Consumer Electronics

Market Size and Trends

The thermal camera market is estimated to be valued at US$ 5.10 Bn in 2024 and is expected to reach US$ 9.66 Bn by 2031, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.8% from 2024 to 2031.

Thermal Camera Market Key Factors

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The thermal camera market is expected to witness significant growth over the forecast period. Increased application across various industries such as automotive, military and defense, electronics and communication, and others is driving the demand for thermal cameras. Moreover, technological advancements leading to enhanced features and reduced production costs have made thermal cameras more accessible. The miniaturization of cameras with improved resolution and accuracy is further facilitating their adoption. Growing investments by leading players to develop advanced thermal imaging solutions will continue propelling the thermal camera market forward in the coming years.

Increased Use by Military and Defense

The use of thermal cameras by the military and defense forces around the world has been growing substantially over the past decade. Thermal imaging allows troops to see in complete darkness or smoke as well as through light fog, facilitating border surveillance and combat operations even in difficult nighttime or low-light conditions. As global security threats have become more complex, many nations have significantly ramped up their defense budgets to modernize their armed forces with cutting-edge technologies. Thermal cameras provide a critical advantage on the battlefield by enabling troops to detect enemy combatants and movements that would otherwise be invisible to the naked eye. With rising geopolitical tensions and an increased focus on round-the-clock monitoring of borders and coastal areas vulnerable to infiltration, defense agencies represent a sizable portion of the demand for these vision-enhancing cameras. Manufacturers have responded by developing more compact and durable thermal camera models specially designed for military applications. With military upgrades and procurement cycles occurring over several years, this source of demand helps provide predictability to the market. Going forward, ongoing defense modernization programs coupled with the emergence of new threats are expected to ensure thermal imaging continues growing in importance within the defense and national security sectors.

Market Concentration and Competitive Landscape

Thermal Camera Market Concentration By Players

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Increasing Use in Industrial Inspection and Maintenance

The industrial sector has emerged as a major adopter of thermal camera technology in recent times. Thermal imaging allows the inspection of electrical components, mechanical systems, and structural areas without disrupting productivity. It enables non-destructive testing to identify issues like overheating bearings, cracks, or damage that traditional visual inspection may miss. Spotting potential problems early helps optimize maintenance schedules and avoid unplanned downtime. Several industries like oil and gas, manufacturing, aviation, and automotive routinely use thermography for preventative monitoring. Thermal cameras are also employed for quality control in processes like metal casting, circuit board manufacturing, and composite material curing. The ability to see temperature variations across large areas rapidly has made thermography the method of choice for many condition assessment applications. As modern manufacturing moves towards predictive maintenance models based on real-time equipment health monitoring, the importance of thermal imaging as a process control and quality assurance tool continues growing. Its non-contact methodology fits well with automated inspection on production lines. With industry focused on minimizing costs and maximizing asset utilization, the value of thermal imaging for predictive maintenance of critical infrastructure makes it a priority investment.

Thermal Camera Market Key Takeaways From Lead Analyst

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Market Challenges: Navigating Cost and Technological Demands in the Thermal Camera Market

One of the key challenges faced by the thermal camera market is the high costs associated with the manufacturing of thermal cameras. The core components and materials required to build thermal sensors and cameras that can detect heat signatures are highly specialized and expensive. Additionally, rapid technological advancements have increased consumers' expectations regarding image quality, resolution, wireless connectivity, and portability. Keeping up with these rising expectations while also reducing production costs is challenging for companies.

Market Opportunities: Expanding Horizons in the Thermal Camera Market

The thermal camera market is poised to grow considerably in the coming years driven by increasing adoption across various industries and applications. The use of thermal cameras is gaining traction in perimeter security, predictive maintenance, firefighting, surveillance, and industrial process monitoring. Further, newer applications are emerging in the automotive sector with autonomous vehicles and Advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) features.

Thermal Camera Market By Product

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Insights, By Product - Portability and affordability drive handheld growth

In terms of product, handheld contributes the highest share of 67.5% in 2024 of the market owning to its portability and affordability. As the name suggests, handheld thermal cameras are highly portable devices that can easily be carried around for on-site inspections and surveys. Their compactness allows users to easily maneuver them in tight spaces and areas with restricted access. This makes them ideal for applications like building inspections, where inspectors need to visually examine the outer and inner structures from up-close. In addition, handheld cameras tend to be more affordable than fixed models, putting thermal imaging technology within reach of smaller businesses and individual users. Their lower cost of ownership expands the potential customer base for Original Equipment manufacturer (OEMs). Some key factors propelling the handheld segment are the growing demand from building inspectors and facilities managers, and an increasing focus on preventive maintenance across industries. OEMs have also enhanced handheld models with improved resolutions, larger screens, longer battery lives, and additional features to appeal to professional users. However, fixed cameras still have an advantage in applications requiring permanent infrared surveillance or high-accuracy temperature measurement.

Insights, By Technology - Technological superiority drives cooled cameras

In terms of technology, cooled contributes the highest share of 63% in 2024 of the market owing to its technological superiority over uncooled cameras. Cooled cameras use cryogenically cooled focal plane arrays that offer unmatched temperature sensitivity and image quality. Their detection system is kept at very low temperatures, typically around -200°C, using thermoelectric coolers or Stirling cycle coolers. This minimizes thermal noise for much higher sensitivity down to 20mK. As a result, cooled cameras are capable of detecting smaller temperature differences and capturing finer details. They find widespread adoption where the most accurate real-time temperature data is imperative, such as in aircraft engine testing, predictive maintenance of industrial assets, and R&D. Advanced vanadium oxide microbolometers used in high-end uncooled cameras cannot match the sensitivity and resolution of Moreover, cooled cameras offer temperature measurement precision around ±1°C, while uncooled cameras are only ±5°C. This superiority comes at the cost of higher price tags, maintenance needs, and power requirements. However, ongoing technology advances are making cooled cameras more affordable and compact.

Insights, By Application - Defense demands drive growth in defense & military applications

In terms of application, defense & military contributes the highest share of 48.2% in 2024 of the market owing to the critical needs of this sector. Thermal cameras see extensive use in defense and military applications for surveillance, border monitoring, and personnel/vehicle detection. They enable round-the-clock situational awareness under any lighting condition. With their ability to detect minute temperature variations, these cameras help identify concealed objects, camouflaged targets, and ambush sites invisible to the naked eye. They augment night vision capability of armed forces to safeguard national borders. Additionally, thermal sensors are used in fire control systems, driver vision enhancement, and biometric screening. Their non-intrusive imaging allows covert missions without alerting hostiles. Leading defense agencies globally are investing heavily in upgrading their thermal imaging equipment for enhanced precision, connectivity and analytics. Strict military specifications also support technology progression. Meanwhile, ongoing geopolitical tensions and rise of asymmetric warfare are prompting nations to strengthen border security and military surveillance infrastructure further, thus propelling demand in this highest sharing application segment.

Regional Insights

Thermal Camera Market Regional Insights

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North America has firmly established itself as the dominant region with 46.1 % market share in 2024 of the global thermal camera market. The region enjoys a strong presence of leading thermal camera manufacturers as well as a vast network of component suppliers and technology specialists. Moreover, demand for thermal cameras is widespread across diverse industries such as military and defense, automotive, construction, utilities, and others.

The U.S. alone accounts for a major share of the North American market owing to increased spending on defense and homeland security. Various government agencies and armed forces extensively use thermal cameras for surveillance, perimeter protection, and tactical operations. On the commercial front, sectors like predictive maintenance and building inspection are major contributors to thermal camera sales. Leading manufacturers in the region also actively participate in product innovation through heavy investments in R&D.

Among emerging regions, Asia Pacific is poised to be the fastest growing thermal camera market. Considerable economic development across nations like China, India, and Southeast Asian countries has opened up numerous opportunities for infrastructure development and industrialization. This, in turn, is driving the need for thermal imaging applications in construction, manufacturing, and energy industries. In addition, growing export orientation of Asian economies will further bolster the demand for quality control and condition monitoring solutions powered by thermal cameras.

Regional temperature monitoring initiatives and rising safety standards are additional factors augmenting the market growth. While import-based pricing has prevented rapid adoption until now, soon localized manufacturing by global brands will make thermal cameras more affordable. This along with increasing awareness regarding thermal technology benefits is expected to propel the Asia Pacific market to new heights over the coming years. Countries like India and China especially demonstrate high growth potential owing to their vast population and industrial upgrading programs.

Market Report Scope

Thermal Camera Market Report Coverage

Report Coverage Details
Base Year: 2023 Market Size in 2024: US$ 5.1 Bn
Historical Data for: 2019 To 2023 Forecast Period: 2024 To 2031
Forecast Period 2024 to 2031 CAGR: 9.8% 2031 Value Projection: US$ 9.66 Bn
Geographies covered:
  • North America: U.S. and Canada
  • Latin America: Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Rest of Latin America
  • Europe: Germany, U.K., France, Italy, Russia, and Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific: China, India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, ASEAN, and Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Middle East & Africa: GCC Countries, South Africa and Rest of Middle East & Africa
Segments covered:
  • By Product: Handheld and Fixed/Mounted
  • By Technology: Uncooled and Cooled
  • By Application: Building Inspection, Medical, Defense & Military, Industrial Process, and Others 
Companies covered:

FLIR Systems Inc., Seek Thermal, Axis Communications AB, Opgal Optronic Industries Ltd., Jenoptik AG, Fluke Corporation, PCE Instruments, Mobotix AG, LumaSense Technologies Inc., Spectronic Plc., Optris GmbH, Schneider Electric SE, DIAS Infrared GmbH, InfraTec GmbH, Ulirvision Technology Co. Ltd., HikVision Digital Technology Co., Micro-Epsilon, Caterpillar Inc., Bullit Mobile Ltd., and 3M Scott

Growth Drivers:
  • Increased use by military and defense
  • Increasing use in industrial inspection and maintenance 
Restraints & Challenges:
  • Limited expertise for operating infrared cameras
  • Regulations related to export and import of infrared cameras 

Key Developments

  • In November 2022, Solibri Inside is a software company that specializes in providing building information modeling (BIM) solutions for construction and architectural industries. Has introduced a native feature within Nemetschek authoring tools (Allplan, Graphisoft Archicad, and Vectorworks), allowing designers to perform model checks without exporting the model or using external software
  • In June 2021, Teledyne FLIR LLC, a leading thermal imaging camera company based in the U.S., introduced the FLIR A500f and A700f rugged thermal cameras. These cameras are designed for use in extreme environments, featuring high-temperature detection capabilities. They also include alarm functions and on-camera analytics, making them suitable for outdoor monitoring applications.
  • In April 2021, Opgal Optronic Industries Ltd. is a company that specializes in providing optical and thermal imaging solutions for various industries, including defense, security, industrial, and automotive. Has introduced EyeCGas Mini, an uncooled Optical Gas Imaging (OGI) camera integrated with a thermal camera. This Android-based device is specifically designed for OGI applications and aims to make leak detection and repair (LDAR) more accessible to consumers.
  • In January 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a new policy regarding the use of telethermographic systems during the COVID-19 pandemic. This policy aims to encourage the use of thermal imaging cameras and integrated solutions for medical purposes during public health emergencies related to COVID-19.
  • In January 2021, Axis Communications AB is a leading provider of network video solutions for security surveillance and monitoring. launched the AXIS Q8752-E, a bispectral PTZ camera integrated with a thermal camera. This camera offers 3x zoom and is designed to provide reliable detection in various lighting and weather conditions. The introduction of this product is expected to increase the adoption of thermal cameras across different industries.
  • *Definition: The thermal camera market consists of companies that manufacture thermal imaging cameras and related accessories. Thermal cameras, also known as thermal imaging or infrared cameras, detect infrared radiation, and produce images based on differences in surface temperature. Thermal cameras are used across various industries like security and surveillance, firefighting, predictive maintenance in industries, thermography in building inspections, research and design, and automotive applications. The global thermal camera market is growing due to increasing applications of thermal imaging cameras in the commercial and industrial sectors.

Market Segmentation

  • Product Insights (Revenue, US$ BN, 2019 - 2031)
    • Handheld
    • Fixed/Mounted
  • Technology Insights (Revenue, US$ BN, 2019 - 2031)
    • Uncooled
    • Cooled
  • Application Insights (Revenue, US$ BN, 2019 - 2031)
    • Building Inspection
    • Medical
    • Defense & Military
    • Industrial Process
    • Others
  • Regional Insights (Revenue, US$ BN, 2019 - 2031)
    • North America
      • U.S.
      • Canada
    • Latin America
      • Brazil
      • Argentina
      • Mexico
      • Rest of Latin America
      • Europe
      • Germany
      • U.K.
      • France
      • Italy
      • Russia
      • Rest of Europe
    • Asia Pacific
      • China
      • India
      • Japan
      • Australia
      • South Korea
      • ASEAN
      • Rest of Asia Pacific
    • Middle East & Africa
      • GCC Countries
      • South Africa
      • Rest of Middle East & Africa
  • Key Players Insights
    • FLIR Systems Inc.
    • Seek Thermal
    • Axis Communications AB
    • Opgal Optronic Industries Ltd.
    • Jenoptik AG
    • Fluke Corporation
    • PCE Instruments
    • Mobotix AG
    • LumaSense Technologies Inc.
    • Spectronic Plc.
    • Optris GmbH
    • Schneider Electric SE
    • DIAS Infrared GmbH
    • InfraTec GmbH
    • Ulirvision Technology Co. Ltd.
    • HikVision Digital Technology Co.
    • Micro-Epsilon
    • Caterpillar Inc.
    • Bullit Mobile Ltd.
    • 3M Scott

Frequently Asked Questions

The CAGR of the thermal camera market is projected to be 9.8% from 2024 to 2031.

Increased use by military and defense and increasing use in Industrial inspection and maintenance are the major factors driving the growth of the thermal camera market.

Limited expertise for operating infrared cameras and regulations related to export and import of infrared cameras are the major factors hampering the growth of thermal camera market.

In terms of product, handheld, estimated to dominate the market revenue share in 2024.

FLIR Systems Inc., Seek Thermal, Axis Communications AB, Opgal Optronic Industries Ltd., Jenoptik AG, Fluke Corporation, PCE Instruments, Mobotix AG, LumaSense Technologies Inc., Spectronic Plc., Optris GmbH, Schneider Electric SE, DIAS Infrared GmbH, InfraTec GmbH, Ulirvision Technology Co. Ltd., HikVision Digital Technology Co., Micro-Epsilon, Caterpillar Inc., Bullit Mobile Ltd., and 3M Scott are the major players.

North America is expected to lead the thermal camera market in 2024.

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