Why Thermal Imaging Trends Are Looking Up

Once primarily focused on military and critical infrastructure installations, the thermal camera market is far more expansive these days. Industry authorities explain where opportunity lies.

Why Thermal Imaging Trends Are Looking Up

Hot Tips to Heat Up Thermal Sales

Not long ago most any thermal camera cost thousands of dollars; hence, end users logically assume price points remain exceedingly high. Thus it makes sense for the affordability of thermal imaging to remain a key topic for dealers and integrators to address.

But as widespread adoption of the technology increasingly spans myriad market niches and applications, there is much more to discuss with potential clientele. Our subject matter experts offer advice and topical suggestions that installing security contractors can emphasize during a sales conversation.

▶ The most important thing is to identify the use case for what information the integrator wants to provide the end user. Thermals are very good for detection. They’re not good for things like identification. So having a good idea of the use case and what the technology is capable of. I’ve had end users tell me that they wanted to see through the trunks of cars, which you cannot do with the thermal camera. — Ryan Zatolokin, Axis Communications

▶ An important question to ask is whether the customer wants to detect activity that regular cameras haven’t been able to see. There are some applications where low-light surveillance cameras are not adequate in detecting humans: smoke, haze, fog, thick brush, or complete darkness, for example.— Jennifer Hackenburg, Dahua Technology USA

▶ There are many factors that affect the performance and success of a thermal camera deployment. Determining camera placement, selecting which lens to use, choosing field of views, installing cameras to run in parallel with fixed cameras, identifying your dead zones, setting up slew-to-cue functions, and configuring analytics are all important steps in the installation process. As an integrator, set yourself apart from competitors by educating yourself on thermal camera deployment. — Fredrik Wallberg, FLIR Systems

▶ Thermal cameras can provide excellent visual details for long-range fence line detection and other similar use cases, but it is important to educate the end user as to what a thermal camera is and what the video will look like. They need to understand that they can tell when a person is present, but they will not be able to identify who that person is. — Aaron Saks, Hanwha Techwin America

▶ The best thing a dealer or integrator can do is get their hands on a thermal camera with onboard analytics and test the camera in your own facility. Once integrators see the thermal cameras’ capabilities, they can take it to their customers and show how thermal cameras can reduce the risk of operational failures and improve the security of their facility. My advice is plain and simple: Listen to your customers’ problems and just get creative. — Tony DeStefano, Hikvision USA

About the Author


Although Bosch’s name is quite familiar to those in the security industry, his previous experience has been in daily newspaper journalism. Prior to joining SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in 2006, he spent 15 years with the Los Angeles Times, where he performed a wide assortment of editorial responsibilities, including feature and metro department assignments as well as content producing for latimes.com. Bosch is a graduate of California State University, Fresno with a degree in Mass Communication & Journalism. In 2007, he successfully completed the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association’s National Training School coursework to become a Certified Level I Alarm Technician.

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