AxonX, D-Tec garner kudos in report

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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

WELLINGBOROUGH, England - Video Smoke Detection companies such as axonX and D-Tec got a boost in February when IMS Research, based here, came out with a sunny forecast for the world market for VSD, saying it would reach $36 million by 2011.
Currently valued at about $10 million, VSD is a niche market with only three major players, axonX of Sparks, Md., U.K.-based D-Tec, which opened a U.S. office in December 2007, and a Swiss company called Fastcom Technology.
“The fire industry is quite mature,” said James McManus, a research analyst with IMS. “This is a developing technology … that has its advantages over traditional point-based detection.”
In addition, “The vast majority of non-residential structures, 72 percent in the U.S. and 68 percent in the U.K., do not have automatic fire detection equipment installed, making them prime targets for this new technology,” the report said.
VSD uses algorithms to detect smoke from standard video surveillance footage. McManus noted that the common applications for this technology are “large, high voluminous areas … [where considerable damage could occur before the] smoke filtered up to a standard smoke detector … VSD tends to be used to protect high-value assets where time is of the essence and you need to detect the fire at a very early stage.”
Mac Mottley, chief executive officer of AxonX, said the IMS forecast is “in line with our projections.” In fact, they may even be low, if, as Mottley expects, “we get larger players adopting the technology at a faster rate.”
He called the report good for VSD in general and “especially promising for axonX. [As systems] are moved onto the network, the price is lowered and we further penetrate this market. We are piloting with some key customers in target vertical markets,” he said. Power generators, big box retail and industrial facilities are some target verticals for axonX. The company is also active internationally, Mottley said.
Asked about Mottley’s comments, McManus said, “He is right, if partnerships occur, and it does get accepted by the large guys, it really could take off faster.”
In the future, IMS plans to “delve deeper into the actual intelligent software to see how it pairs with other technologies,” McManus said. SSN