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VIDEO: AEC Professionals Focus on Driving Business with 360-Degree Cameras

Thu March 31, 2022 - National Edition
Ricoh Theta

The pandemic has driven the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industries to adopt new technologies in order to keep projects on track and a step ahead in an increasingly digital world. One technology being quickly adopted by this professional set are 360-degree cameras — which according to a new survey conducted by RICOH THETA are owned or used by almost half of all respondents, with 79 percent of them utilizing the cameras for work.

The survey, fielded by Dynata to industry professionals, explored the usage of tech devices such as cameras, smartphones and other platforms/software commonly used by AEC professionals.

Technology is playing an important role in multiple workflows across these professions with most frequent usage for project management and oversight (72 percent), building design (54 percent) and building construction (51 percent). However, despite an increasing reliance on general photography and video technology, these devices often fall short on delivering the professional's desired results. Some key issues identified in the survey when it comes to more traditional imaging include:

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

Addressing some of these challenges, 360-degree cameras are compact, beginner-friendly devices with simple interfaces that can capture entire spaces with a single button press. Image quality is often quite high among quality 360-degree cameras, with some models containing sensors that capture high-resolution imagery even in dim or poorly lit environments. (View an example 360-degree image here. Click and drag the image to explore the entire scene.)

Another common feature among recent 360 cameras is pairing with smartphones via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth that enables easier image viewing and sharing. Given these features, the survey identified that more than ¾ of respondents believe that 360-degree cameras would work better for them, particularly for:

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

"At RICOH THETA, we are continually working to innovate products that meet the needs of our core customers," said Shinobu Fujiki, general manager of RICOH Company's THETA Business division.

"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."

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