Automation and AI Are Powering the Next Generation of Pro PTZ Upgrades
After a spell of limited innovation during the pandemic, professional pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras are entering a new technological era. Futuresource Consulting’s brand-new report reveals that AI and automation are the powerhouses behind many of the new-generation products entering the market, with auto-tracking, facial recognition, and automated camera switching being some key product features. Following high levels of recent annual growth, the firm’s 2023 report shows these innovations support a healthy and steadily maturing market.
Demand remains strong post-pandemic
“Professional PTZ cameras became well-established in corporate and education settings during the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Shubham Kumar, Professional Video Analyst, Futuresource Consulting. “But whether demand would stick after the successful rollout of vaccines was largely unknown. Now hybrid working is the new normal, pro PTZs are proving to be more common investments from non-traditional customers.”
While demand during the pandemic was rife, innovation took a backseat. Manufacturers were facing pressure to ship their existing products during supply chain disruption, with resources often funneled into re-engineering products to match the available components.
“Brands are making up for lost time with innovation permeating the industry,” says Kumar.
End-users flock to new upgrades
The arrival of next-generation technology in FY2022 is stimulating healthy demand across the market. Existing end-users are motivated to upgrade and new users are also entering the space.
“These new product features are simultaneously boosting and widening the appeal of PTZ products. For example, productions with limited crew and camera operators are benefiting from singular products that can do more, while in the education and corporate verticals, video coverage of meetings and lectures is at a higher quality.”
Navigating a polarised market
“It’s a different environment to pre-pandemic,” says Kumar. “The market is maturing, so vendors will need to take a different tack. Players should tailor products to the specific needs of each respective vertical that makes up the addressable market. This will help companies to retain their position, but it may require a broader portfolio of products to serve the more diverse addressable market.”
Futuresource’s latest data from FY2022 illustrates a clear polarisation of the market by price segment. The <$2,000 price segment continues to draw new end-users from a range of verticals but is highly competitive for brands.
“At the other end of the spectrum, the $5,000 price segment has been a key area of success. Vendors are cultivating growth in premium products with advanced technical specification, placing a special focus on the broadcast market,” says Kumar. “Pro PTZs are becoming more commonly accepted for use in live production alongside traditional camera products like system and box cameras.”
“Like countless other industries, AI is certainly influencing the professional PTZ landscape. The good news is that so far, this has been largely positive, enabling cameras to be used in locations that would not have been possible before.”