Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Looking forward

I like to read forecasts, even if Yoga Berra (or was it Niels Bohr?) pointed out how difficult predictions are to make. But regardless, I dived in to “The Machine Vision Market: What to Expect in 2014” by Winn Hardin and published on the Vision Online website Jan 7th, 2014.

I don’t want to spoil it for you, but there appears to be some hedging of bets. So, as there seems to be no downside to me being wrong, here are my predictions.
  1. Sales volumes will increase in 2014. Everyone will shift more units.
  2. Revenues may not grow as fast, because prices will continue to be squeezed down, especially at the lower, “commodity” end of the machine vision market.
  3. Driven by increasing demands for “Track-and-Trace”, code-reading, especially DataMatrix, applications will continue to grow. Sadly, understanding of the need for verification will remain as low as the temperatures outside my office right now.
  4. MVTec will continue to send emails reminding me of how great Halcon is. (I already know!) Perhaps their North American sales will show explosive growth, but I doubt it. We’re all just too wedded to Cognex. Speaking of which…
  5. Recognizing that Keyence is out to eat their lunch, Cognex will fight back with some new products (but I’m not at liberty to say what.)
  6. 3D vision will encounter that “valley of despair” or whatever it’s called when everyone discovers the great new thing ain’t as great as we’d hoped.
  7. Someone, somewhere, will decide that what the machine vision industry really needs is a new interface standard.
And if any of those come true …

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