AEC Professionals Focus on Driving Business with 360-Degree Cameras

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RICOH THETA survey finds an uptick in architects, engineers, and contractors using 360-degree imaging to elevate workstream and streamline project management


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% 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. And technology is playing an important role in multiple workflows across these professions with most frequent usage for project management and oversight (72%), building design (54%), and building construction (51%). 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%)
  • Cumbersome image sharing processes (28%)
  • Insufficient image capture range for properly capturing an entire space (26%)

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

“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.”

Full survey data can be shared upon request. For more information about how 360-degree cameras can enhance workflows for AEC professionals, please visit

Survey Methodology
The AEC industry survey was conducted among 776 total participants, with 117 completed surveys after screening, on behalf of RICOH THETA. The online study was conducted in winter 2021.

Owned by Japanese-based imaging company RICOH, RICOH THETA was incepted in 2013 as the company’s arm dedicated solely to 360-degree imaging technology. As a pioneer in the 360-degree photography space, RICOH THETA has developed seven generations of cameras that are sold in more than 30 countries. The company continues to evolve to improve quality without making any significant design changes. The sleek, compact cameras are designed to easily capture stunning 360-degree content, making it fun to look back on memories and share with friends and family. Key models include the THETA SC2, THETA SC2 for Business, THETA X, and the flagship THETA Z1. For more information, visit or follow RICOH on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

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Kellyn Curtis
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