The Silicon Review
3D scanning is a process that is used to convert 3D objects into 3D models. Information like the texture, shape, color, and other details from the object can be captured when it is scanned. Using a line of laser light, a 3D scanner can not only collect the object’s information, but it can also scan the environment in which the object is present - creating “point clouds” of data from all surfaces. 3D scanners create a digital twin of the real world, enabling a plethora of applications across industries.
There are several firms that provide exemplary services, but Matterport is the leading spatial data company digitizing and indexing the built world. The company’s all-in-one 3D data platform makes it fast and easy to turn any physical space into an accurate and immersive digital twin. The Matterport platform helps customers realize the full potential of space at every stage of its lifecycle, including planning, construction, appraisal, marketing, and operations. Its unique 3D capture technology creates the spatial data layer on which a variety of industries – across real estate, architecture, engineering and construction (AEC), facilities management, insurance and restoration, travel and hospitality, photography and beyond – can interoperate.
Matterport is powered by Cortex, an AI platform, and patented deep learning neural network. It analyzes 3D spatial data captured from Matterport’s flagship Pro2 camera and a wide variety of third-party devices, including LiDAR cameras, 360 cameras, and now smartphones. With millions of spaces captured, Cortex consistently and accurately creates the 3D digital twin and handles complex tasks – from 2D to 3D reconstruction, advanced image processing, automatic color correction, object, and room labeling, and more. Cortex can even generate professional-looking 4K photo galleries and shareable videos from within the digital twin, along with measurements and dimensions of entire spaces.
Matterport was founded in 2011, and based in Sunnyvale, California.
In conversation with RJ Pittman, CEO of Matterport
Q. What is the current market landscape of 3D imaging? Explain.
3D imaging is a fast growth market and has been accelerating recently with a combination of accessibility (for instance the release of LiDAR capabilities on iPad and soon other smartphones) and breakthroughs in physical sensor and AI-driven technologies – all of which make 3D more affordable and easier than ever to use.
Q. 3D imaging/modeling comes with an expensive price tag. How do you manage the affordability and profitability of your services?
Our recent launch of Matterport for iPhone empowers billions of smartphone users to digitize the built world for free with the device they own; Android support is next. Matterport works with a wide range of 3D cameras – including our Pro2 – 360 cameras, and now smartphones. Anyone can capture and share a space in 3D. The first step is to download the free, easy-to-use Matterport Capture app, then pair it with a Matterport Cloud plan to upload, edit, store, and share their spaces after they have scanned it. They can try out the platform by choosing the free plan and upgrade based on the number of spaces they expect to publish at a time. By offering a free option to both capture and manage a 3D space, we’ve made it affordable for everyone to try Matterport before upgrading plans or investing in cameras.
We also provide the option to hire a professional instead of investing in hardware. We recently launched Matterport Capture Services™, a fully managed solution for enterprise customers to book 3D virtual tours with Matterport Capture Technicians™ skilled in using the Matterport Pro2 camera. Capture Services enables companies to schedule 3D scans for hundreds or thousands of spaces across major cities in the United States, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, and Switzerland. Companies can confidently book a vetted Capture Technician at a standardized price and expect a consistent service level. Scan prices are based on bands of square footage/meters and fluctuate based on supported countries. Our pricing model is based on the property type, industry, and square footage/meters of the space.
Q. 3D imaging is an advanced technology. Do you have qualified individuals who can maintain your service standards?
Matterport Capture Services provides qualified and skilled Matterport Capture Technicians who are experienced with using the Matterport Pro2 camera. Capture Technicians are available for enterprise customers to book quality 3D virtual tours for hundreds of thousands of spaces across major cities at a standardized price. Capture Technicians are vetted and evaluated based on the number and quality of properties scanned.
Q. Do you have any new services ready to be launched?
Android support is coming later this year, opening up 86% of the mobile device market to Matterport.
Q. What are your future plans for the development of your company?
The built world is massive – by our count: 4 billion buildings and 20 billion spaces. And our mission is to digitize and index them all. That’s why we are making 3D capture available to anyone, making it fast and easy to turn any physical space into an accurate and immersive digital twin. As we continue to grow the most comprehensive spatial data library in history, we will accelerate the planning, construction, appraisal, marketing, and operations of any building across the world. We are already helping thousands of companies realize unforeseen efficiencies across North America and Europe, and we opened an office in Singapore this year to expand into the Asia Pacific.
Meet the leaders behind the success of Matterport
RJ Pittman is the CEO of Matterport, the leading spatial data company. He has spent the last two decades building Internet software companies to help accelerate the evolution of a commerce-enabled web. Throughout his career, he has held leadership positions at eBay, Apple and Google building transformational products and leading new initiatives in commerce, retail, consumer search and payments. He also co-founded and served as the CEO for the search engine that created the tech industry’s first graphical information interface, Groxis.
Dave Gausebeck is Co-founder and chief scientific officer of Matterport. As one of Matterport’s founders, Dave developed much of the computer vision technology that makes Matterport tick. He continues to develop and improve those algorithms alongside a great team of vision researchers and software engineers. Dave was at PayPal when the whole company fit into a single conference room, building core back-end and security systems as well as developing the first commercial implementation of a CAPTCHA.