At one time, when real estate professionals wanted to capture interior spaces for the purposes of offering virtual reality, the process required the use of tens of thousands of dollars in equipment. Today, that is no longer the case, thanks to Matterport. With Matterport, real estate professionals are able to take a deceptively simple camera to create VR tours of their properties without the need to spend a small fortune on bringing in designers and photographers. While the company has experienced incredible success since first launching its cameras, Matterport has since plunged a massive amount of funding into new software technology that will blend images together for enhanced VR. Over the last year, Matterport has gradually shifted its focus from VR cameras to mobile. In fact, the company has already reached a partnership agreement with Project Tango, a Google VR mapping project, that makes it possible to leverage the cameras in smartphones as scanners. Under the new plan, VR sensor hardware would be provided by Intel, while Google would supply the power necessary for scanning software. Matterport would handle the technology required to stitch images into virtual reality scenes.
New Round of Funding to Drive Enhanced Technology
Matterport has already reported it plans to hire a team to focus on making mobile VR scanning a reality. That is in large part due to a round of Series C funding to the tune of $30 million that was led by Qualcomm Ventures.
As smartphones and other mobile devices become increasingly indispensable, Matterport and its VR scanning technology could prove to be capable of making a tremendous impact on the real estate industry in the future. If Matterport is able to turn its concept into reality, real estate professionals could be relying less on flat photos and videos in the future and utilizing 360-degree views in order to show clients thousands of miles away what it is really like to be inside a property.
VR More Affordable and Easily Attainable
The new technology could also make capturing 360-degree images far easier and less expensive. While Google recently demonstrated its Jump camera system, which is capable of taking 360-degree videos, speculation has run rampant that the rig could come with an exorbitant price tag. With a new focus on building mobile apps, Matterport is making 3D VR scanning a more affordable reality for real estate professionals at every level.
Currently, the technology is based on the use of smartphones with 3D sensors, which are not yet mainstream. Even so, Matterport is clearly betting heavily that such technology will grow commonplace in more devices.
In addition to its flagship camera, Matterport also provides a cloud-based service that stitches images together to create 3D environments. In order to view the content, users must have VR headsets or use Matterport's browser-based app that makes it possible to view the content on mobile devices and laptops.
As Matterport continues to streamline its technology, the way in which real estate professionals show properties could change dramatically.