Matterport, the leading spatial data company focused on digitizing and indexing the built world, recently announced its latest breakthrough, Matterport 3D Capture for Smartphones, which will turn consumer smartphones into 3D capture devices. This capability, which was demonstrated at an invite-only event at San Francisco’s most exclusive property – Residence 950 – will support iPhone and Android devices. The first iPhone version is expected to be available in beta by the end of the year.
Matterport’s CEO RJ Pittman explained at the gathering of technology and business leaders that this new innovation is made possible by advancements in Cortex, Matterport's AI-powered image-processing technology. Cortex features three-dimensional intelligence that can understand objects, rooms and the detailed characteristics of any physical space. The technology is trained on Matterport's industry-leading dataset that is comprised of billions of 3D data points and can construct stunning 3D digital twins from two-dimensional images.
“Matterport aims to achieve full camera and capture ubiquity that will allow us to digitize the entire built world,” Pittman stated. “Creating a 3D solution compatible with smartphones is a huge step towards reaching that goal, allowing the broader community of billions of iPhone and Android users to access the capabilities of our technology.”
Pittman was joined at the event by real estate moguls and stars of Bravo TV’s Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles, Josh and Matthew Altman.
“Matterport’s 3D technology is a game-changer for our business, especially for marketing elite homes like 950 Lombard Street – an exceptional property in one of San Francisco’s most desirable neighbourhoods,” said Josh Altman. “Matterport’s cutting-edge technology makes it possible for a potential luxury homebuyer – sipping coffee halfway across the globe – to experience this gorgeous home in a realistic and immersive way. This is a great way to attract busy and out-of-town buyers!”
Pittman added: “The digital transformation of the built world will fundamentally change the way people interact with buildings and the physical world around them. Matterport’s 3D capture is foundational to this transformation because our unique technology is creating the data layer on which businesses and individuals can interoperate across industries.”
In addition to unveiling 3D capture for smartphones, Matterport also announced new spatial awareness functionality that enables users to interactively measure and share the dimensions of any space – including floor plans, doorways, windows and walls – automatically. This powerful feature strengthens the impact of Matterport 3D experiences across applications and industries, from helping prospective homebuyers know whether furniture will fit in a space, to making it easier for contractors to more accurately and efficiently document dimensions during the construction or renovation process.
Matterport’s new spatial data features were announced and demonstrated alongside planned updates to the company’s flagship app and cloud services, which included:
Matterport's Keith Schaffer recently wrote an article on WebVR and Android devices. You can read the full article below.
Matterport VR has seen growing use and applications across numerous industries. Every day we hear more and more businesses share stories of how they are using our VR technology to drive more interest in their properties by allowing clients to fully experience them from anywhere. Yet, loading those experiences hasn’t always been easy.
Unless you had a Daydream device, an Android user would have to first download the Matterport VR app in order to launch their Spaces in virtual reality. Today, Matterport has expanded it’s WebVR offering beyond Daydream to include the majority of Android devices. This means that most Android users can explore Matterport VR Spaces directly through their web browser — without having to download an external app! This is a major step in making virtual reality an easy, simple, “one-button” experience for all.
Note: We are slowing rolling this feature out to everyone. The process can take a day or two. If you don't have access already, don't worry you will soon
Understanding the future household word: WebVR
For Android users, WebVR is simple - running behind the scenes to enable VR content to launch within the browser itself. All an Android user has to do is tap on the the VR icon on the bottom right corner to switch to VR mode and start streaming. This means that businesses which feature Matterport models on their website no longer have to drive traffic to an external app - and can keep clients on their website.
For context, WebVR is an open source standard being developed by engineers from Google, Mozilla, Apple and other internet and VR companies. These same companies have been working to break down the barriers for VR by allowing anyone to view VR content directly in their web browser regardless of their device. Matterport is one of the key providers of VR content driving companies to deliver this innovation.
Making Virtual Reality access even easier than before
For those who remember the early internet, WebVR is to VR as Flash streaming video is to YouTube. Before YouTube, watching a video online was extremely difficult. Many different formats would only work with proprietary players, each of which required a special plugin. You had to download the majority of content before viewing, and only then hope you had the right plugin and codec to play the video. The friction created by these added steps made it hard for viewers to access and enjoy lots of different types of content.
YouTube solved most of these struggles by avoiding any plugins, programs, or apps. Its advent was a game changer allowing viewers to stream content on demand within their browser. Today, the concept of being able to access and enjoy content immediately is so ingrained in our collective experience that we cannot image the internet without it. In fact, YouTube, Netflix, Amazon, and other streaming media account for up to 70% of all internet traffic today.
WebVR is a similar concept. Not only is it frictionless for end users, it also gives developers greater flexibility, faster growth, and more innovation than a stand alone app. For developers WebVR greatly simplifies things allowing them to develop for a single platform instead of several. For businesses, WebVR means they can confidently leverage VR without worrying about driving traffic away from their website.
While Matterport still plans to support our existing Matterport VR apps, behind the scenes we’re making a long-term transition from Unity3D to a single WebVR implementation. For users, this transition will be seamless and may go unnoticed, but for developers this will allow for faster innovation.
A bit about the hardware
To access WebVR, we recommend using an Android device that is around two years old or younger.
Officially, we are only supporting Android devices (Android 5.0 Lollipop or newer) with Chrome browser 59+, and a built-in gyroscope. Phones that have not been updated to Android 7.0 Nougat will also need the Google VR Services app. If you don’t have this, you will be prompted to download the first time you try to view WebVR content. Overall, we believe that most of our mobile Android traffic will easily meet these requirements.
You’ll find that the performance of WebVR is closely tied to the specific device you use. We optimize for as many devices as possible, but not all phones are created equal. Some older Android devices may see better performance through our current Matterport VR app than WebVR. For new devices though, WebVR is a solid platform that will only continue to grow in terms of features.
Looking into WebVR’s future
Beyond this latest announcement, Matterport does plan to support WebVR for iOS/Cardboard and Android/GearVR in the not so distant future. At least in some form. However, because a lot of this depends on external actors, such as mobile browsers fully integrating WebVR, we can’t offer a specific timeline for this yet. Rest assured, we are committed to offering a great experience on these platforms as soon as we are able.
In the meantime, if you own a supported Android device, you can experience WebVR right away. Just open a Matterport Space and tap the VR icon in the lower right hand corner. With WebVR it really is that easy. If you’re reading this post on a smartphone device, try it out right now!
Matterport recently released a statement announcing support for the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive via WebVR. You can read the full statement below.
One of the greatest advantages of the WebVR platform is that it easily allows us to bring our Matterport VR offering to a large number of devices. As of Wednesday, August 16th, Matterport is now able to offer basic, Daydream like, WebVR support to our PC customers using the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive platforms.
This was made possible with Mozilla recent update to the popular Firefox web browser adding WebVR support on Windows PCs.
While this is exciting, it’s important to note that this a first, early iteration of Matterport VR for the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive platforms, and will have some limitations:
As a platform, WebVR is new. WebVR for PC is extremely new. While we here at Matterport have done our best to minimize issues, there will be bugs. Sadly, many of these bugs we will not be able to address as they might be issues with Firefox, Oculus, Steam, or other settings/drivers on the end-user’s PC. You may need to do a fair amount of troubleshooting to get WebVR support working for your Rift or Vive.
An internet connection is required to view your Matterport VR content. We are not supporting offline viewing of Matterport VR content on Rift or Vive at this time. If you require offline viewing, you can still use one of our Matterport VR apps for either Android or iOS devices.
In order to view WebVR content on your Windows PC with a Rift or Vive:
If you have any questions please feel free to reply to this thread, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Product Manager, Matterport VR