Advancement in Virtual and Augmented Reality Technologies to Bolster Newer Applications of Commercial Drones

The swelling enthusiasm amongst organizations to explore and leverage the benefits of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology has led to several exciting applications of drones for business and commercial purposes. Commercial drones are increasingly being used in a host of applications such as precision agriculture, aerial photography, and surveillance applications for better quality and resolution of the images generated. Equipped with higher capabilities in video and photography, the market for commercial drones is continuously evolving.   

Banking on a positive regulatory landscape, commercial drones are witnessing a rising adoption in a variety of applications in such areas as oil and gas, construction, process and utilities, mining, law enforcement, and emergency response and rescue teams. The global market commercial drones is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 13.8% from 2017 to 2025 and attain a valuation of US$8.89 bn by the end of 2025. 

What are the prominent application trends that bode well for the adoption of commercial drones? 

Precision agriculture and aerial photography are the major application segments of commercial drones. Aerial photography was the leading application segment, occupying a major share of 25% of the commercial drones market in 2016. The soaring demand for commercial drones in the media and entertainment industry for capturing high-definition aerial images has stimulated their use. Continuous technological advances in imaging technologies has led to the advent of commercial drones with advanced HD video monitoring and high-resolution to assist in aerial photography. 

With an estimated decline in the prices of components of commercial drones, several manufacturers are finding lucrative avenues in the convergence of virtual and augmented reality technologies in the making of commercial drones. This is expected to expand the application of commercial drones in precision agriculture or satellite farming in various developing and developed regions. For instance, the adoption of commercial drones in agriculture and farming sector in the U.S. is increasingly motivated by its increased capabilities to monitor crop feeds. All these factors will catalyze the demand for commercial drones in precision agriculture applications.

Which areas are likely to exhibit impressive opportunities for players in the commercial drone market?  

North America is a leading market for commercial drones, occupying a major share of over 35% in 2016. Substantial investments by private players coupled with a favorable regulatory framework to support newer applications are expected to offer significant fillip to this regional market. The soaring application of commercial drones in various precision agriculture applications in the U.S. augurs well for the regional market. Furthermore, the spiraling demand for commercial drones in surveillance and monitoring activities has unlocked promising opportunities for market players in the U.S. In addition, commercial are increasingly being employed for cattle monitoring and irrigation equipment. 

Meanwhile, Asia Pacific is expected to exhibit lucrative avenues for companies in the commercial drones market. A large chunk of the regional demand will come from countries such as China and Japan. In addition, the increasing focus toward automation in manufacturing facilities in China has catapulted the demand for commercial drones, boosting the regional market. 


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