Matterport, a Mountain View startup whose cameras scan rooms to produce three-dimensional replicas, received a $30 million Series C funding round yesterday.
The raise comes from a mixture of new and existing backers.
Many luxury brands, such as Starwood Hotels and Princess Cruises, have begun to use Matterport's technology for their digital marketing.
Examples of their 3D virtual tours include ones of the Wow Suite at the W Midtown Atlanta and ones of the various suites of the Grand Princess ship.
It's not just global brands either. Smaller properties are also investing in the 3D tours.
Case in point: Cap Maison resort and spa on the Caribbean island of St Lucia is showing off its wine cellar via a 3D model on its website. The tour's embedded here, too, for you to try:
To pull off this trick, Cap Maison hired Barnes Creative Studios (BCS), an Atlanta-based visual content producer for luxury travel brands, to use a Matterport Pro camera to scan the interiors of its wine cellar.
The device has a mix of 2D cameras and 3D sensors which sit on a tripod that must be moved around a room to take its measure.
The 3D data is then uploaded to Matterport's software service, which makes it easy to embed and navigate on any website, within a few hours' time.
Here are some other examples produced by Steve Barnes, the content contractor, for top resorts:
Playa Linda Aruba on their site:
Ladera St. Lucia on their site:
Matterport's technology has several advantages over the interior walk-throughs that Google Business View has long touted, according to Barnes.
Barnes notes that Matterport's models offer a full 3D representation of an interior (not just flat panoramic images). That means the data can be imported into virtual reality platforms like Samsung Gear VR to create an interactive experience.
In short, this 3D content can be re-used on the new virtual reality and augmented reality platforms being developed by several companies, such as Facebook (Oculus) and Microsoft (HoloLens).
On the down side, you need to have a substantial marketing budget to take advantage of this technology. Matterport's robotic camera costs about $4,000 if you buy one to use on your own, and there's a nominal subscription fee for using its cloud-based service.
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