We have been trying to get hold of him for a few weeks but we finally caught up with an exceptionally busy Mark Rees the Marketing Director of 360 Vision Technology to ask him about his brand new HD Predator camera. As you will see and hear the all new Pred is now better looking and feature loaded. Nothing more than you would expect from the chaps at 360 vision. So lets take a look.
Below are a few questions that we put to Mark so we can see how all the pieces of the new HD Predator fit together.
1) Integrated : Mark, the new HD predator is out and we need to know all about it but firstly how successful has the Predator been for you since its original release?
Hugely – we have managed to establish strong supply partnerships throughout the world – recent success includes over 300 in Russia for Forest Protection, over 450 in Glasgow Council for inner city and Commonwealth Games protection and also an upcoming OEM partnership that will see Predator rebranded and introduced into Latin America
In addition, HD Predator has only been available for 18mths but in that time we have already sold in excess of 1500 units!
2) Integrated :That is impressive however did it take you personally by surprise with the markets that you have found for the Predator camera range?
We were always fairly confident of good sales but what started out as simply a PTZ camera has now turned into a ‘brand’
Predator is now a range, not a camera……..similar to BMW with their car ranges…… like them, we have derivatives, similar to 3 series, 5 series etc
Predator is now available as Predator HD, Predator Thermal, Predator Radar, Predator Surveyor…….basically, its Predator at the core and supporting technology giving its variant
With this in mind, it has expanded our business into unbelievable opportunities and applications – marine, ports, aviation, military, borders, city schemes, rapid deployment, mining, petrochem etc etc
3) Integrated: HD, White light, IR, thermal, multi-coloured , Of all the cameras you manufacture within the Predator range which one has proved to be the biggest seller and why?.
HD without a shadow of a doubt !
As mentioned before, we have sold over 1500 units in 18 short months – why? Simple, we were first to market with a rugged HD – well before our competition – and as such, we have used that 18mth period to refine, improve, develop the software even further – so now we are in an excellent position of being constantly ahead of our competition who are only now just launching their HD variants
We now have 3 HD modules to offer – each with specific differences – so we now don’t just offer a ‘one size fits all’ HD camera, but variants that are appropriate to low light, high volume traffic, bandwidth and other HD considerations – this all whilst our competition offer just one module!
We are ONVIF listed (our competition isn’t yet) and we have used the 18mths to make it our business to work with leading VMS companies to ensure compatibility………we now are very often recommended by those VMS guys simply because we do not compete with them, we don’t offer a complete solution, we let the end user decide on the VMS and we simply make our kit play nicely with the VMS ! Its a very simple formula but has been hugely successful
4) Integrated : Very impressive Mark with this in mind we know the Predator camera is selling worldwide which must put quite a demand on your factory, how have you managed to cope and has this meant many changes within your Runcorn operation?
We have recently purchased an identical sized factory within a few yards of our current facility – this has allowed us to double capacity
We have grown manufacturing volumes by 40% so the new facility was key to continued growth – increase in space, increase in staff, increase in component inventory
Whilst expanding hugely, we are still able to supply HD or analogue Predators within 5-7 working days, with thermal in around 2-3 weeks
5) Integrated: That is very encouraging. Earlier we mentioned worldwide sales but which country has shown a the greatest demand and b) The biggest growth over the last year?
The answer to both is probably the Middle East – they desire high quality and therefore jump straight to HD……… their infrastructure is expanding meaning opportunities are appearing literally daily……in addition though, we must recognise and acknowledge the sad and horrific events that are happening in the World through terrorist activities and as such, our thermal and long range thermal cameras are being strongly specified for Border surveillance and protection
That said, Russia is an emerging market for us, as is Canada through petrochem/mining
6) Integrated: You seem to have overtaken your rivals in the ruggedized dome market place. Do the sales figures back this up and if so is the release of the new HD Predator your way of keeping ahead of the competition?
Yes, within the UK we are the leading volume manufacturer of ruggedised products
HD is certainly the driver and the introduction of new HD technology (UltraHD) in the early Spring will also add other opportunities
Our HD program has allowed us to recruit 3 more software engineers and their focus is solely on developing the HD range……..recent additions include onboard storage/recording with upto 256GB Flash storage INSIDE THE Predator ! Others include audio speaker output for 2 way voice annunciation…….things that add value to the Predator camera
But we focus on complementary technology to offer conceptual advances – Radar, Video Analytics, Perimeter – and this has offered leverage in other countries
7) Integrated: So what is new about the “new HD Pred”. The first thing we noticed were the changes to the way the product looks but what is the latest tricks that you have installed under the bonnet?
I mentioned recording and audio, but the new Ultra Low light module is stunning – here is an example
What you are looking at is the standard HD Predator (top left), the BOSCH HD MIC 7000 (bottom left) and the new Ultra Low Light HD Predator (top right) – this is all with NO illumination at all
Adding in our intelligent illumination (upto 150m White light and IR OR upto 175m IR Only) gives even more detail in the image
8) Integrated: Some visual proof of what has been achieved however in addition the Predator has been used in some unique applications but what is the strangest project you have been asked to fulfill ?
Russian Oligarchs Mansion, TV company using it to do traffic reports, Crown Prince Yacht in the Middle East – all not necessarily strange but certainly interesting!
9) Integrated: Mark, some impressive installations but what has the feedback been so far on the new HD Predator and are you confident sales will increase as a result?
Incredible feedback, snapshots like above where we are fully prepared to go toe to toe with our competition allows a growing but medium sized British manufacturer to not only take on the big boys but actually stay ahead of them!
10) Finally Mark tell us why you think the Predator will continue to grow within the ruggedized market place and how you plan to keep ahead of the competition?
The 3 D’s…….Develop, Develop and Develop! Simply remaining conscious of emerging technology and implementing it with speed !
Thank you very much mark for that insight. It seems the Pred in all forms is here to stay and indeed dominate the ruggedized market place. Great stuff.