If everything goes right this coming February, Bosch will position itself to be a leader in the video surveillance market with its acquisition of Extreme CCTV of Canada, a manufacturer of active infrared illuminators that bring light to the darkest of corners for video surveillance.
Bosch, a global leader in technology and services, will buy the engineering and technology firm for approximately $93 million, offering Extreme CCTV's shareholders 5 Canadian dollars per share. (Currently, the Canadian dollar and the U.S. dollar are near parity.) The deal should be approved by February and would bring Extreme CCTV's 130 associates worldwide into Bosch's Security Services Division.
By buying Extreme CCTV, Bosch will integrate the company's active infrared illuminators into Bosch's product line to create video surveillance systems that can provide quality images in the most trying of conditions. Extreme CCTV's active infrared illuminators create an invisible light only a camera can capture to provide clear, quality pictures in places as dark as oil pipelines.
According to Jack Gin, founder and CEO of Extreme CCTV, active infrared illuminators have revolutionized the market's quality standards.
"The standard of acceptance ten years ago was if you had a dark scene and you delivered a dark picture from a dark scene," that was acceptable. Gin tells Security Management. "We've changed that paradigm over the past ten years."
Extreme CCTV's record of innovation is what attracted Bosch to the company.
"The company's innovative technologies will expand our product portfolio and strengthen our presence in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom," said Uwe Glock, president of Bosch Security Systems division, in a statement.
Extreme CCTV stays innovative by being an engineering-driven company and relying on rigorous empirical testing of its products. Using a testing system popular in World War II called DCRI—or detection, classification, recognition, and identification—for thermal practice, Gin and company tweaked the system to be suitable for CCTV standards. This allows Extreme CCTV to tell its customers not only at what distance they can provide a picture, but also the quality of the picture.
The newest innovation for Extreme CCTV is its Black Diamond/Constant Light system.
"Traditional infrared illuminators will often give you the hotspot in the center, with the dark edges. What we are doing with Black Diamond is we are stretching the light, allowing for nice even illumination horizontally as well as from foreground and background. It will give a crisp image and better data for analytics," explains Extreme CCTV's Marketing Manager Christina Balanon..
But the acquisition isn't all about what Extreme CCTV can bring to Bosch, says Gin. What makes Bosch's acquisition of Extreme CCTV so exciting to an engineer like Gin is Bosch's lavish R&D budget. "They love engineers," he says. "They plow 9 percent of their revenue as a corporation back into R&D every year." Industry standards rarely rise above 3 percent, says Gin.