The aerospace and defense industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by developments in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, and the growing importance of technologies such as drones, satellite technology, and big data. In the last three years alone, there have been over 237,000 patents filed and granted in the aerospace and defense industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Artificial intelligence in defense: AI video analytics. Buy the report here.

Smarter leaders trust GlobalData

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilizing and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

110 innovations will shape the aerospace and defense industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the aerospace and defense industry using innovation intensity models built on over 206,000 patents, there are 110 innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, precision imaging drones, aircraft maintenance AI, and AI video analytics are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Aerial imaging, autonomous flight controls, and surveillance AI are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily.

Innovation S-curve for artificial intelligence in the aerospace and defense industry

AI video analytics is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence

AI video analytics involves using AI techniques, such as machine learning and computer vision, to analyze and extract meaningful information from video footage. It utilizes algorithms and models to automatically identify and interpret objects, events, and patterns in video data, enabling applications such as surveillance, object tracking, crowd monitoring, and activity detection. AI video analytics aims to enhance the capabilities of traditional video surveillance systems by providing intelligent insights and real-time alerts.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 1,170+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established aerospace and defense companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of AI video analytics.

Key players in AI video analytics – a disruptive innovation in the aerospace and defense industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.  

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’. 

Patent volumes related to AI video analytics

Company Total patents (2021 - 2023) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Tencent Technology (Shenzhen) 124 Unlock Company Profile
Nvidia 138 Unlock Company Profile
LG Electronics 90 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Global Technologies 91 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Electronics 212 Unlock Company Profile
Baidu USA 41 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch 89 Unlock Company Profile
Amazon Technologies 44 Unlock Company Profile
KLA-Tencor 36 Unlock Company Profile
BOE Technology Group 51 Unlock Company Profile
Baidu Online Network Technology (Beijing) 76 Unlock Company Profile
Fujitsu 80 Unlock Company Profile
Huawei Technologies 37 Unlock Company Profile
Google 107 Unlock Company Profile
Beijing Baidu Netcom Science Technology 99 Unlock Company Profile
HRL Laboratories 40 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens Healthcare 94 Unlock Company Profile
Microsoft Technology Licensing 141 Unlock Company Profile
HERE Global 34 Unlock Company Profile
GM Global Technology Operations 47 Unlock Company Profile
Capital One Services 71 Unlock Company Profile
Adobe Assets 224 Unlock Company Profile
Fujifilm 76 Unlock Company Profile
Qualcomm 62 Unlock Company Profile
Microsoft 143 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 54 Unlock Company Profile
Shanghai United Imaging Healthcare 43 Unlock Company Profile
KLA 49 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 37 Unlock Company Profile
Apple 46 Unlock Company Profile
Salesforce 55 Unlock Company Profile
Meta Platforms 119 Unlock Company Profile
General Electric 56 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 39 Unlock Company Profile
Canon 135 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 77 Unlock Company Profile
Advanced New Technologies 46 Unlock Company Profile
NVIDIA 145 Unlock Company Profile
IBM 369 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba 48 Unlock Company Profile
NEC 154 Unlock Company Profile
Intel 177 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 100 Unlock Company Profile
Snap 39 Unlock Company Profile
Enlitic 79 Unlock Company Profile
Beijing TuSimple Future Technology 35 Unlock Company Profile
Beijing SenseTime Technology Development 79 Unlock Company Profile
X Development 33 Unlock Company Profile
Stradvision 80 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Research Institute 37 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Boeing is one of the leading patent filers in AI video analytics. The company filed patents related to systems and methods of tracking and classifying objects through video analysis.

The process involves utilizing at least one processing device to access a video frame containing the object of interest, conducting object detection on the frame to identify the object, employing a persistent tracking capability to track the object across multiple frames over time, isolating a segment of the frame containing the object, classifying the object through deep learning by processing the segment using the processing device, and producing an output, signaling the classification of the object of interest.

Some other key patent filers in the AI video analytics space include Raytheon, Airbus, and General Dynamics.

In terms of application diversity KLA, General Electric, and NVIDIA are some of the leading innovators. By means of geographic reach, some of the leading patent filers include KLA, International Business Machines (IBM), and Samsung.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the aerospace and defense industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Defense.

Data Insights


The gold standard of business intelligence.

Blending expert knowledge with cutting-edge technology, GlobalData’s unrivalled proprietary data will enable you to decode what’s happening in your market. You can make better informed decisions and gain a future-proof advantage over your competitors.


GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.