Growing popularity of several social media imaging platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Foursquare has created an appreciable growth potential for the connected cameras market. These are cameras incorporated with built-in wireless connectivity based on several technology standards such as Wi-Fi, Near Field Communications (NFC), Bluetooth, Internet Protocol (IP), or a combination of all four. Connected cameras have been present in the market for quite a few years but have suddenly gained prominence owing to the advent of new technologies such as NFC radios and Quick Response (QR) codes which make photo-sharing simpler. Apart from photography, surveillance and navigation are key applications of connected cameras.
Smartphones have changed the digital imaging landscape on account of their connectivity and sharing features, rather than image quality. Increased percolation of 3G and the emergence of 4G LTE networks have resulted in faster image uploading speeds, thereby aiding market growth. Camera manufacturers have taken a cue from smartphones and have increasingly integrated connectivity features in standalone cameras, DSLRs, and camcorders. As the image resolution in standalone cameras and DSLRs is higher than that of smartphones, Wi-Fi remains a preferred medium for sharing. The success of connected cameras hinges on affordability of cellular data plans, as sharing large-sized images results in rapid consumption of monthly data plans. Cellular operators like Verizon have developed pricing plans that allow monthly data sharing across multiple devices such as tablets, smartphones, and computers. Inclusion of cameras in the supported devices list could provide a fillip to the connected cameras market. Designing smoother touchscreens for cameras to simplify image sharing is a challenge for camera manufacturers.
Increased instances of thefts, terrorist attacks have consequently led to an increase in CCTV camera installations, which transmit the video feed of the desired location to connected monitors. IP surveillance cameras have also gained prominence, which has further driven the connected cameras market. Key industry participants in the connected cameras market include Canon, Sony, Dropcam, Lorex, Nikon, Polaroid, and Samsung.
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