IMS looks at IP video door phones

Potential add-on, upgrade or new business for installers
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Monday, February 7, 2011

WELLINGBOROUGH, UK—It’s partly a security product and partly a lifestyle product, said Alastair Hayfield, research manager at IMS Research, but when a major European manufacturer dedicated half of its large booth at the Essen show to IP video door phones, IMS Research decided to take a look at the market.

The product is typically a small box housing a camera that’s mounted near the front entrance to an apartment building or business. It enables apartment or business owners to see who’s at the front door before buzzing them in.

The largest market for this product is Asia, said Emma Chapman, IMS research analyst, who wrote the recent IMS report.

The market in Europe is smaller and in the U.S. is even smaller. It does well in places where there are a lot of multi-family dwellings, she said.

Most of the major manufacturers are in China, and don’t have a presence in North America. The manufacturer who dedicated a large portion of the booth to the product is Germany-based Mobotix, a company that’s working to raise its profile in the U.S.

Steve Gorski, GM Americas for Mobotix, said that the company wanted to “prominently highlight [its new T24 IP Door Station] solution [at Essen] because it allows us to enter a new market, that being access control for small-to-medium businesses and high-end properties. The solution is unique because it is IP-based and provides a 180-degree image.”

Gorski said the company believes North America is “primed for an IP-based solution that integrates access control and video surveillance. Using our hemispheric technology, the T24 captures a 180-degree panorama view of an entire entrance area. That means you can see who is at your door from all angles.”

The North American market leader is Aiphone, which is introducing an IP solution in Q2 this year.

Bradley Kamcheff, senior marketing specialist for Aiphone, said the company introduced the industry’s first video intercom in the ‘80s. “Developing an IP solution to meet market demands was the next logical step. It is what our customer base has been requesting for years.”

Kamcheff said Aiphone’s dealer base is comfortable with IP technology, but the Aiphone will offer classroom and online training for the new line. The series offers standard video entry security, door release and internal intercom, as well as bell scheduling for schools, call prioritization for emergency assistance, multi-zone paging for commercial and industrial applications, and other features as well.

IMS says it’s a market that is growth affected by the construction industry, but “ticks along nicely every year, and doesn’t have big ups and downs.”

Cost is a major factor with IP products right now, and they’ll be most cost-effective initially for large-scale projects, he said. He expects they’ll be of particular interest to installers who are network savvy and currently installing video phones and for those who currently install audio intercoms and would like to expand into video.