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BizReport : Trends & Ideas archives : November 17, 2015

Consumer drone shipments to hit 16 million per year by 2020

While drones may yet be a way off being used for commercial tasks, such as Amazon deliveries, a new study from Juniper Research shows that drone use among consumers has already gone way past the core base of hobbyists.

by Helen Leggatt

Juniper Research's new whitepaper, 'A Game of Drones', reveals that the number of consumer drones shipped globally this year is set to reach 4 million reaching 16 million per annum by 2020. This growth has been driven, in part, by a drop in retail price, increased functionality, increased competition, reduced component cost and a great number of use cases.

"With the advent of AR likely to become prevalent on UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) in the near future, this will open up further opportunities for innovation in applications for both the consumer and commercial sectors alike," said Juniper Research in a recent announcement.

However, the research also highlights growing concerns around privacy with fears that drones could be used for nefarious activities such as snooping, stalking and criminal surveillance of property. Issues continue to be discussed surrounding how best to police and monitor consumer drones as such purchases are not as rigorously tracked as those in the commercial sector.

According to research co-author Dr Windsor Holden, "Given drones' capabilities to gather, store and disseminate images online, consumers are understandably uneasy that - for example - they could hover over (or within) private property and take photographs without permission."

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: drones, privacy, research

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