Hikvision maintains large security technology portfolio that includes:
- IP network, analogue and HD CCTV cameras
- Digital and network video recorders (DVR/NVRs)
- Video encoders/decoders
- Video management software
- Access control and alarm systems.
Hikvision attributes much of its success to the speed and scale of its product innovation, asserting that around 8% of its annual turnover is ploughed back into research and development each year, with a third of its global staff (roughly 5,000 engineers) being directly involved. In 2017 Hikvision are planning to open two new high tech R&D facilities in North America – Montreal and Silicon Valley.
Hikvision was fast to incorporate H.264 advanced video coding, video content analysis, cloud computing and big data into its product lines. Its latest Dome and Smart Box and Smart Bullet cameras support 4K video recording for example.
These offer 3840×2160 pixel resolutions that support more sophisticated video analytics applications like face or car number plate recognition and can cover a much wider area with a single camera than is possible with multiple HD models.
Whilst Hikvision’s early success was built on undercutting established rivals (particularly in the US and Europe) with comparatively inexpensive cameras, it has since used its broad product portfolio to reach every corner of the video surveillance market and offer security solutions at a much wider range of price points.
Rather than smaller sites requiring 10 or 20 cameras and associated infrastructure and management tools, the company now sees customers needing hundreds or thousands of cameras as its sweet spot.
It is also applying significant resources to identify gaps in video security and analytics provision within key vertical industries, developing new applications able to exploit the latest camera functionality to provide customers with some measure of operational advantage.
Examples of innovation here include intercom systems equipped with biometric readers that scan faces and fingerprints for accurate authentication and door entry, and “heat mapping” technology that use cameras to help retailers monitor traffic flow in shops and malls in response to marketing and promotion campaigns.
Elsewhere a mobile in-vehicle solution that deploys camera with magnetic ‘stick-on’ base, embedded WiFi and 3G/4G connectivity, long life batteries and integrated high capacity data storage options on the inside of buses and trains was developed for transport companies, with an all-in-one security terminal that combines video recording capabilities, storage and a display in one compact, movable unit having multiple uses.
This video showcases the new Hikvision Falcon Series Drone to bring surveillance to the skies.
Founded in 2001 Hikvision grew from a minor regional player to the biggest video surveillance brand in the world in a staggeringly short space of time.
This is a profile of the Chinese CCTV giant, retracing its history, detailing its increasingly muscular approach to acquisitions and its latest products in network video.