Oncam buys all of Grandeye

Company plans ‘significant’ investment in R&D
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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

LOWELL, Mass.—In a strategic move that executives say will enable the company to expand its offerings, video surveillance provider Oncam Global on July 2 announced it now owns Grandeye, a 360-degree video technology provider.

Oncam has owned 49 percent of Grandeye since the spring of 2009. On July 2, it acquired the remaining 51 percent from Creative Technologies, a consumer electronics company based in Singapore. Terms of the deal were not released.
 
The company has been renamed Oncam Grandeye and is now Oncam Global’s technology and engineering arm.

Owning the entire company is important to align priorities of the two entities, Graham Wallis, Oncam Grandeye president, Americas, told Security Systems News.

“We are going to heavily invest in Grandeye technology and grow [the portfolio] with additional intellectual property,” Wallis said. “It’s better to do that when you wholly own the company. … We also wanted the engineering team to be directed toward [one common goal.]”

Oncam Grandeye, which has global revenues during the past 12 months of about $25 million, is headquartered in Switzerland. It has an office in London and locations throughout the Middle East. Its North American headquarters and a technology center are located here. Oncam Grandeye has 50 employees worldwide with 20 of those based in the United States.

Its target vertical markets are retail, transportation, maritime, safe cities and gaming. Oncam Grandeye has a heavy presence in retail and maritime applications, Wallis said.

The global video surveillance market is projected to grow 12 percent this year, Wallis said, but “it is our view that 360-degree technology will grow faster than 12 percent.”
 
“There are some applications where 360-degree technology is absolutely unique and cannot be replicated by a camera with a narrow field of view or a PTZ,” Wallis said. Notably, its forensic capabilities are its “primary strength … you can always go back and see what happened in the past [from a 360-degree vantage point.]”

Wallis would not disclose the amount of the planned R&D investment, but he said it was “significant” and it would lead to additional products that are faster and higher-resolution. And, “as more megapixel sensors come on the market … we’re looking at finding ways of minimizing bandwidth usage. … That’s on the road map, not just for transmission, but for storage,” he said.