Matterport – Everything You Need to Know

Updated Apr 28, 2022
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According to a 2021 Consumer Housing Trends Report by real estate intelligence company Zillow, 68% of home buyers agreed completely or somewhat that 3D virtual tours would give them a better feel of the house than 2D photos. Furthermore, 61% of individuals looking to buy homes wished more listings had 3D virtual tours. With its market-leading virtual tour solution, Matterport aims to fill this gap as well as other digital transformation opportunities beyond real estate, as we will detail later on in this article discussing everything you need to know about Matterport. Specifically, we will explore what Matterport is, its history, product features, capabilities, pricing, as well as the industries this solution serves. Let’s get started.

About Matterport

What is Matterport?

Matterport is a web-based platform that allows you to create a 3D digital twin of any given space by capturing 3D scans using a 3D camera, a mobile phone camera (the Capture app has to be installed), or a 360° spherical camera. The platform then processes the images, creating a 3D digital twin of the space.

The 3D twin allows visitors to virtually interact with the space by moving from one position (hotspot) to another. As the creator, you can add tags and measurements to provide the potential buyers with as much information as possible about your property. You can also use the 3D twin as a digital guide to making physical duplicates of the initial layout of a house or production line. 

Screenshot of matterport 3d digital twin of an ice cream parlor

Screenshot of Matterport 3D Digital Twin of an Ice Cream Parlor (source)

It is noteworthy that Matterport stores the tags, measurement, and virtual tours information to create a user-specific library/repository. With a simple search, you can extract specific information about your properties. Read on for a detailed example of this capability. 

Overall, Matterport’s various unique and powerful capabilities have cemented its place as a leading virtual tour software provider. The company’s myriad offerings put it a step ahead of the competition, i.e., Matterport alternatives.

About Matterport: History

Founded in 2011, Matterport was focused on facilitating easy 3D capture of the real world. According to Co-Founder Matt Bell, the company was founded at a time when virtual reality (VR) was yet to deliver, even though it had captured people’s imagination for years. But the company sought a different path. The path was guided by the dream to create a product that would blend in with interactive 3D content, 3D training simulations, and video games that captured the richness of the digital world. 

Cognizant that creating 3D digital environments required millions of dollars, Matterport looked to change the narrative. It sought to break the barrier between the physical and digital worlds by creating a system that anyone could rely on to capture real spaces in 3D without spending millions of dollars. 

Matterport is founded on the basis that 3D capture goes beyond photography and video. It enables people to capture and encode 360º views of spaces instead of just a single view. Further, it allows users to improve and manipulate the digital world in novel ways. Before Matterport, Matt reckons, the process of reconstructing the world in 3D was complex and slow. At the same time, 3D modeling software was costly and had a steep learning curve. But all this changed with Matterport. 

Since its establishment, Matterport has made a name for itself as a leader in creating 3D virtual tours for residential real estate. It even develops and sells professional-grade cameras – the Matterport Pro2 3D capture system – that enables customers to create high-quality 3D scans of their spaces. 

About Matterport: Present and Future

For years, Matterport focused its attention and offerings on the real estate industry. But with the onboarding of the company’s current Chairman and CEO, RJ Pittman, in December 2018, the company has since pivoted. Currently, Matterport targets multiple other sectors, including: 

  • Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC)
  • Insurance & Restoration 
  • Travel & Hospitality
  • Facilities Management
  • Retail
  • Real Estate

Now, Matterport is focusing on digitizing the entire world – not just real estate – and, in the process, building the most extensive and essential spatial data library in the world. In this regard, Matterport is currently a data company that seeks to unlock the insights hidden inside each captured space. 

Matterport Pricing and Customers

Matterport targets a wide array of customers with its tiered packages. Click here to learn more about Matterport, specifically on the features the company offers for each package. In summary, though, these packages include: 

Package

Pricing

Free

$0.00

Starter

$9.99/month

Pro & Business

$69/month

Enterprise

Pricing available on inquiry

 

According to RJ Pittman, Matterport’s enterprise category is the fastest-growing. It currently boasts a portfolio of customers that includes Fortune 1000 companies, industrial and manufacturing firms, and facility management businesses. For example, the company has worked with top pharmaceutical companies to create a 3D digital twin of one production line, which is then used as a guide to creating an actual physical twin of the original production line at scale.

Matterport’s Business Focus

Matterport focuses on three main segments. These include: 

  • Software
  • Hardware
  • Data

About Matterport: A Hardware Company

As a hardware company, it develops and sells the Matterport Pro2 3D capture cameras as well as motorized mounts for mobile phones (Matterport Axis). Considered the best-in-class all-inclusive 3D capture system, the highly precise Matterport Pro 2 captures the highest quality 3D scans in 4K. (Still, Matterport supports other third-party 360º and 3D cameras, including the Leica BLK360.) 

Matterport pro2 3d camera

Matterport Pro2 3D Camera (source)

On the other hand, the Matterport Axis motorized mounts (below) enable users to conveniently and steadily capture panoramic images.

Matterport axis

Matterport Axis Motorized Mount (source)

About Matterport: A Software Company

The company brings the power of technology to the various industries it targets. They achieve this through a robust web-based application/software that enables users to create, view, and manage their virtual tours. Additionally, the software generates floor plans from 3D scans. Matterport also develops and offers the Capture App for iOS users.

Simply, Matterport is a virtual tour software platform that enables users to automatically create 3D virtual tours. 

About Matterport: A Data Company

Since its inception, Matterport has built a library that contains more than 15 billion square feet of data from over five million spaces. The figures are growing by the day. With this data, the company has created solutions that expand the reach of its product. For instance, the extensive library, coupled with the power of AI, enabled the company to develop the Capture mobile app for iPhones and Android phones.

Natively, mobile phones are not equipped to capture 3D photos. In order to facilitate this capability, Matterport leaned toward AI. The company trained its proprietary Cortex engine with high-quality 3D images taken using its highly precise Pro2 camera. In total, Cortex was trained with data from more than five million spaces, including studios, cruise ship interiors, homes, hotels, fast-food places, and more). 

As a result, the Cortex engine can reconstruct 3D models by predicting 3D geometry from flat photos. Now, mobile phone users (both Android and iPhone) can simply install the Capture app, which converts their phones into literal 3D cameras. 

Additionally, it takes the measurement tool 14 seconds to capture what would take a professional contractor using a laser measuring device weeks to complete. The platform then stores this information for eons, making it a repository that you can access for the life of the building and also if you want to remodel or repair it. 

Users can also rely on Matterport for building intelligence. Facility managers, in particular, can readily access specific data from a pool that contains data on thousands of stores. As an example, a facilities manager working for a fast-food outlet with 15,000 stores can narrow down the search of the number of stores that cover less than 2,500 square feet and have at least two cash registers with just a two-second Google-like search. 

Matterport Offerings and Capabilities

Matterport develops and offers various products and services, each serving a specific function. The company’s offerings include:

  • Virtual Tour
  • Notes
  • Capture App
  • Capture Services
  • Web-based Platform
  • BIM File Generation and Visualization Capabilities

Matterport Virtual Tour

Matterport enables its customers to create 3D digital twins of disparate spaces. So far, the software has been used to capture more than five million spaces, a figure that is continuously growing. In addition, users can include tags and measurements to improve the user experience for anyone viewing the tour.

Screenshot Showing Matterport Measurement Tool

Screenshot Showing Matterport Measurement Tool (source)

Matterport Notes

Matterport recently released Matterport Notes targeted at promoting team collaboration, documentation, and communication. With this feature, you can upload field notes and documents right inside the digital twins. It also allows users to invite friends and family to document what they like about the space, making Matterport a useful solution for people looking to purchase a property. 

In addition, colleagues can use Matterport notes to collaborate on office layouts and pace planning. At the same time, companies can use the feature to allocate tasks and make decisions that involve facilities located in different parts of the world.

Matterport Capture App

Powered by AI, the Matterport Capture App enables mobile phone users to capture 3D scans with Matterport. The application automatically downloads the Cortex engine, which, as stated, uses artificial intelligence (AI) to convert the 2D panoramic images captured by a mobile phone camera into 3D models/scans. To use the Capture app, you need to be signed in to your Matterport account. 

Matterport Capture Services

The Matterport Capture Services is a professional scan service that lets you hire a technician to help you capture professional 3D scans. The company will then process the images and subsequently send the final 3D digital twin of your property within 24 hours. 

Matterport Web-Based Platform

Matterport provides a dashboard, which customers can use to securely manage their 3D models. Here, they can collaborate or transfer the ownership of models with friends or colleagues. For instance, the platform supports collaboration by allowing users to make descriptive notes. 

Matterport BIM File Generation and Visualization Capabilities

The company has also made visualization easy. For instance, Matterport allows users to generate 3D Revit models and 2D CAD files of the scanned property. Dubbed the Matterport BIM file, this function is available for users on the Professional plan or higher. To generate the Revit models and 2D CAD files, users must first scan their spaces using Matterport or Leica cameras. This means you cannot use a phone or tablet. 

It is noteworthy that Matterport avails the files as a zip file containing PDF and PNG files. Thus, if you want to edit them using CAD software, you first have to convert the raster files to vectors. Scan2CAD offers a convenient and easy way to vectorize PDFs and PNG files, creating high-quality DXF or DWG files.

At the same time, you can use the Matterport Dollhouse View to visualize the relationships between rooms and the space. It offers a 3D floor plan perspective that you can fully interact with, acting as a convenient way to navigate any section of the space. 

Matterhouse dollhouse view

Matterhouse Dollhouse View (source)

Parting Shot

Matterport is a leading 3D virtual tour solution for a reason. It offers individual users and enterprises a wide array of features that meet their needs. For instance, it enables collaboration through the Matterport Notes feature. It also allows users to capture 3D scans using their mobile phones, thanks to the power of AI. In addition to providing 3D virtual tour services, Matterport has pivoted towards being a data company, providing spatial intelligence to its customers. With this article, we hope that you have learned everything there is to know about Matterport.

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