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Backed By Tech Heavyweights, 360-Degree Camera Market Is Set To Surge

Ties with virtual reality and the backing of a number of major tech players will see the 360-degree video and camera market surge in the coming years, according to ABI Research.

ABI notes that early investment has come from the likes of Facebook, Samsung and YouTube, and forecasts growth among various segments of the market.

ABI forecasts that consumer 360-degree cameras will top four million shipments by 2021, with professional-grade cameras and mid-tier prosumer 360-degree cameras to reach nearly two million shipments.

“The most prominent force driving 360-degree video content and hardware is VR,” Eric Abbruzzese, ABI senior analyst, commented.

“And though VR has been experiencing a period of content starvation due to its novelty, small early install base and the high cost of premium VR, support from major content platforms will lessen this for 360-degree video.”

ABI states that activity in the 360-degree video market “is abundant across both consumer and enterprise applications”.

Among market developments, ABI notes that Nokia has signed a multi-year deal with Disney to use its OZO camera, while GoPro “has its own professional-grade 360-degree multi-camera rig, and will likely release a consumer-grade 360-degree offering in the near future”.

Meanwhile, ABI forecasts that nearly 70 million mobile-based VR products, such as Google Cardboard and the Samsung Gear VR, will ship by 2021.

“It is rare to see a culmination of factors as powerful as what’s happening for 360-degree cameras and video,” Abbruzzese stated.

“Decreasing average selling prices for VR hardware and 360-degree cameras, the possibility for 360-degree camera integration with mobile devices, network and bandwidth improvements for 4K and HDR content that are also enhancing 360-degree video streaming, and a slowing wearable camera market all are creating a rich and promising next step for 360-degree video.”

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