Matterport: A Matter of Virtual Reality Real Estate
What started as a Xbox 360 Kinect hack has transformed into a disruptive technology for businesses.
Since 2011, Bill Brown and the Matterport team have built up quite a following for their virtual reality service.
Matterport can crank out floor plans, three-dimensional dollhouse models, and immersive virtual reality experiences. All powerful tools for enticing potential home-buyers. And the company just released the PRO2 3D CAMERA, which doubles the resolution of its older model.
They look like a great option for realtors and businesses to break into VR. And it’s why the company’s total funding sits at $66M. Get updates instant updates on Matterport here.
This VR real estate company is clearly listening to customers. They continuously upgrade their product features to compete with similar tech on the rise. Over the last few years, they’ve added outdoor capture capabilities, higher quality cameras, and even integrated with Google Street View.
The latest Matterport camera is far superior to any IRIS 360 camera (speaking from personal experience) and comes pretty close to the quality of a DSLR-made experience. For your reference, stitching together DSLR images yields the highest fidelity 360 experience a photographer can feasibly create. That being said, stitching DSLR tours is very time-consuming and requires a high labor cost.
Additionally, realtors are enticed by Matterport’s automatic floor plan renderings. Essentially, the photographer presses a button. Then the device generates a near-flawless blueprint of the space.
Matterport has a large bundle of patents under their belt. Most of them relating to real estate virtual reality. “Semantic understanding of 3d data,” “Optimal texture memory allocation,” and “Building a three-dimensional composite scene” to name a few.
With Matterport’s continued improvements, they hold all the cards. VR photographers have little control over anything other than shooting the images, which are useless without the processing that Matterport does for them. Ultimately, by using Matterport, 3D photographers relinquish quality control and customer service.
This is a good thing for the 200-person team at Matterport. They own the hardware AND software.
Once photographers get past the $3,995 price tag for Matterport’s newest camera, they will have to pay a monthly charge to keep tours on the internet. Which at a minimum is $49 per month. This is genius from Matterport’s perspective. They pass off hosting costs to their army of photographers PLUS they effectively guarantee lifetime residuals as well.
If you stop paying Matterport, everything disappears. The panoramic images that you took go away. And that would presumably leave your clients very upset. That’s a lot of leverage.
The moral of the story? Real estate appears to be one of the industries where VR is truly finding a market-fit. And Matterport is one of the companies poised to grow exponentially from the explosion of virtual reality real estate and it meets many of the critical fundamentals we discussed in our VR investing article.
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