The infrared market is evolving very rapidly. For instance, infrared imaging is one of the fastest growing markets of the Twenty First Century. This is due, in part, to the continuous progress in the detector technology. One way in which this fast-paced evolution is reflected is the constant emergence of new applications.
The infrared applications are usually divided into military and commercial applications. The high performance, low volume, and high cost infrared imaging systems that use cooled infrared technologies are usually found in Military applications. On the other hand, new and existing commercial applications drive the market for uncooled detector technologies, which is the fastest growing segment of the infrared market. It was estimated that the uncooled commercial and dual-use market grew by over 13% in 2014 to $3.1 billion . The current major infrared application markets include :
- Predictive Maintenance
- Building Inspection
- Process Control
- Nondestructive Testing
- Fire Fighting
- Automotive Night Vision
- Aircraft Enhanced Vision Systems
- Law Enforcement/Personal Vision Systems
In addition, the introduction of smartphone thermal imaging in 2014 opened a new application market segment for uncooled infrared imaging.