Falling prices and increased capabilities are driving strong consumer interest in unmanned aerial systems (UAS) — also known as drones or remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) — for aerial imaging, recreation, and aerial games, according to a new report.
Rapid advances in technology and economies of scale have enabled consumer drones to be prototyped and sold at an affordable price, the report from Tractica notes.
Consumer drones are not only attracting the usual flight hobbyists and enthusiasts, but are also getting into the hands of many who are willing to pay for a fun experience, experimenting with taking aerial shots or generating a side income.
The Tractica report estimates consumer drone sales will continue to surge over the next several years, with global annual shipments increasing more than tenfold from 6.4 million in 2015 to 67.9 million by 2021.
While average selling prices (ASPs) for drones will continue to decline sharply during that period, the market intelligence firm anticipates that total revenue will increase from $1.9 billion in 2015 to $5 billion in 2021.
“The consumer drone market continues to grow at a rapid pace,” says research analyst Manoj Sahi. “A number of prominent companies are investing in consumer-grade drone technology, and the hardware and software capabilities of drone products are becoming more robust over time, enabling new applications for consumers.”
Sahi adds that, while aerial imaging is the primary way consumers are using drones now, the use of drones for aerial games and recreation activities will grow over the next few years as the drones’ technological capabilities continue to expand.
Over time, drones will also be integrated into virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) experiences, according to the analyst.
Tractica’s report, “Consumer Drones,” examines the global market trends for consumer drones and provides 7-year market sizing and forecasts for consumer drone shipments and revenue during the period from 2015 through 2021. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’s website.