Futuresource Consulting is predicting strong growth in 360-degree camera sales over the next five years, from worldwide unit sales of 150,000 in 2015 to 600,000 in 2016 and 4,000,000 in 2020.
The research company expects consumer demand to be boosted by falling prices for virtual reality (VR) headsets, the availability of headset-free 360 video experiences on sites like Youtube and Facebook, the launch of more affordable consumer devices and an expansion of form factors, from mountable and drones.
Initially, VR capture was only possible with high end professional cameras like the Nokia Ozo ($60,000). However, it is now available on a growing number of premium devices (e.g. the Kodak SP360 4K, 360fly 4K, Nikon KeyMission, Samsung Gear 360 and Vuze 3D 360); more affordable entry-level consumer models from Ricoh (Theta), LG (360) and C-list brands (<$100); and new entrants on crowd-funding sites like Kickstarter.