Study Shows Nearly Half of AEC Professionals Using 360-degree Cameras on the Job

Architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industries are quickly adopting 360-degree cameras to keep projects on track.

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The architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industries were forced to pivot during the pandemic, adopting new technologies in order to keep projects on track. A new survey now shows 360° cameras were an increasing part of that strategy, with almost half of respondents indicating they owned or used the technology, with 79% utilizing the cameras for work purposes.

The online AEC industry survey was conducted by Dynata on behalf of RICOH Theta in winter 2021, and explored the usage of tech devices such as cameras, smartphones and other platforms/software commonly used by AEC professionals. Among 776 total participants, 117 completed surveys after screening.

The survey showed technology is playing an important role in multiple workflows across AEC professions, with the most frequent usage cited as:

  • Project management and oversight (72%)
  • Building design (54%)
  • Building construction (51%)

Yet, despite a growing reliance on general photography and video technology, the survey showed such technology has often fallen short of delivering on desired results, with key issued identified as:

  • Lack of high image quality (30%)
  • Cumbersome image sharing processes (28%)
  • Insufficient image capture range for properly capturing an entire space (26%)

According to RICOH Theta, 360° cameras have the ability to address some of these challenges by providing compact, user-friendly solutions "with simple interfaces that can capture entire spaces with a single button press." Image quality is offer substantially higher, with some models containing sensors designed to capture high-resolution imagery even in low-light environments. Another common feature among certain 360° cameras is the ability to pair with smartphones via Wifi or Bluetooth for easier image viewing and sharing.

Are 360-Degree Cameras Becoming Must-Have Tools for Construction Pros?

Consequently, the survey showed more than three-quarters of respondents believe 360° cameras could offer a better solution for tasks such as:

  • Documenting jobsite progress (57%)
  • Recording site environment (55%)
  • Sharing details/progress with colleagues (52%)
  • Sharing details/progress with clients (50%)

“We recognize that the AEC market is ripe for 360-degree technology adoption, so we conducted this research to better understand workflows, and in turn, find solutions that help design professionals do their jobs more effectively,” said Shinobu Fujiki, General Manager of RICOH Company’s THETA Business division.

Information provided by RICOH Theta and edited by Becky Schultz.