3D, VR and 360° Photographers  |  Real Estate Agents  |  3rd Party Service Providers
Need a 3D/VR/360°/Drone Photographer? 2,607 We Get Around Network Members in 91 Countries! Ask For FREE referral!
We Get Around Network Forum
Camera

New Matterport Camera to be Announced?2282

Forum Founder DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
The following represents my best educated guess.

---

Will Matterport announce a new camera soon?

The Short Answer:

Probably not any time soon and not in a way that you would expect.

So, if you are thinking about buying a Matterport Camera, take the $600 discount between now and Friday, 6 August 2016 using this Matterport Buy Now link and use the Promo Code: SUMMER16 (Outside the US, use this Matterport link and include Promo Code: SUMMER16

Since Matterport offers a 30 day return policy - See Matterport Pro 3D Camera Terms and Conditions of Sale (Last updated 7 July 2016 #4 Return Policy) - you might take the discount now and see if Matterport announces a new Camera within 30 days and then decide if you are happy with the $600 discount or return the Camera for a newer model (if that's the case).

The Longer Answer

It's likely that Matterport is always working on the next generation Camera - hardware and software - because:

1. at least one Matterport job opening say so. (For example, in this Matterport opening for Matterport Principal/Lead Hardware Engineer, the job description says, "The Principal/Lead Hardware Engineer position will be responsible for architecting, designing and developing the electrical hardware of new and derivative camera products. ... Architect solutions for new Cameras and Subsystems." )

2. The existing Camera is "sorta" two years old. It's "due" for a refresh or next generation

3. My impression is that Matterport has released four versions of the Camera since we bought one in July 2014. (The serial numbers have changed over time to begin with these letters: A, B, C and now D) Recently, a series D sold on eBay. If you have a Serial Number (S/N) on the bottom of your Camera that begins with an E through Z, please post a photo here. Look for the S/N on the bottom of your Matterport Camera.

4. I recall that We Get Around started with an A-series (no affixed quick release clamp and no LED battery indicator); and then we received a different letter series (that included the affix quick release clamp and battery indicator LED. Plus, some Pros with multiple cameras have reported in the MUG Forum that they experience different scanning results scanning the same space with the same firmware. (I will post a new thread on this topic.)

While the $600 discount 1 July through 5 August 2016, might signal a new camera is coming, I believe the (very) aggressive promotional pricing was required by Matterport investors that wanted to move the needle on Camera sales, processing, hosting and ancillary sales such as floor plans.

If not by investors, then timed with the tech meets real estate conference, Inman Connect, 2-5 August 2016 in San Francisco.

Matterport CEO Bill Brown will take the stage and this would be a great time to announce the $600 discount expires at the end of the show, Friday, 5 August 2016 (so go see the Matterport sales team today). It's unlikely that the last day if Inman Connect and the last day of the $600 discount are the same.

While deep discounting typically occurs in product life-cycles just prior to the announcement of a new and improved [something], I would be (very) surprised if that's the case with Matterport.

More likely they will continue to improve the Camera, change the serial number to E and keep the name and price of the Camera the same.

That said, once sales promotions occur, it's likely to grind Camera sales to a halt after the sale is over Friday, 5 August 2016 (unless the sales team has the discretion to honor previous discounts.) The irony of this people intensive strategy is that is would be much more efficient to drive sales to the Matterport Buy Camera page than sell through a sales team channel. Just sayin' ....

If that's the strategy, then the Matterport Camera sales model will be like buying a car in the US:

1. 1/3 buy at full-price; never think to ask for a discount
2. 1/3 will seek the $600 discount (to be honored)
3. 1/3 will seek a bigger discount based either on volume of Camera sales (or more likely based on expected processing and hosting volume) More on this topic in a future Matterport User Group Forum post.

What do you think?

Does the $600 promotion signal that:

1. a new Camera is coming soon?
2. VCs want to see faster adoption? (and more processing and hosting)
3. other?

Are you going to buy now or wait and see?

The above represents my best educated guess.

What's your best guess and why?

Best,

Dan
Post 1 • IP   flag post
Standard StevenHattan private msg quote post Address this user
1. No. Matterport providers, from my LIMITED knowledge are struggling to make money on this. If a new camera came out I am not sure I would buy one unless it was just a simple 'upgrade' price and I could turn in my old one. If I had to buy a new one anywhere NEAR full price then I would concentrate on other virtual solutions that more fit the financial profile of Realtors. Also, it was STRONGLY SUGGESTED that there would not be a new camera until 2017. I asked this question multiple times before I purchased and "two years" was suggested multiple times.

2. No.......what type of VC would want MORE income? haha

3. Whatever the answer is...always follow the dollar. The almighty dollar leads everything, especially in Matterport's position.

Investors want to be paid back with profit (dollars), Matterport wants to stay on top of the competition (dollars), Matterport wants to position themselves as the leader in VR capabilities (dollars), and the ist goes on. Follow the dollar.

My guess is sales are slow and most likely not meeting their goals. There funding presentation was all hypothetical projections based on sales. When I bought my camera I figured this thing would sell itself and I'd be rolling in dough...that Realtors will be lining up to get this.

It absolutely didn't happen and I know more people are in the Struggling category and the Rolling in the Dough category.

It would make sense that if this is true then The Company may have had the same notion. The bottom line is the realtor base hasn't gone gang busters over this (mainly because of price) and the projections simply aren't being met.

Now, I completely understand the 'hidden' message but I don't get excited from a 13.3% off sale.

Hahaha...no offense Matterport (I see you) but 13.3% does not move mountains...and it's certainly not a 'deep discount'. Sure, $600 is $600 but percentage wise it's not even 'eye raising'. I'd pass that over like a 10% off coupon to Denny's.

My best guess is sales are under projections and VC's are not smiling.

Ok, I HAVE to get back to work. These things don't sell themselves, you know. ;-)
Post 2 • IP   flag post
Tosolini private msg quote post Address this user
Just sharing some thoughts based on personal observations. The MP camera is built on PrimeSense depth sensors. PrimeSense has been acquired by Apple and I'm not sure how long they will keep selling their sensors to OEMs. In fact, you can't buy them anymore as a consumer.

This puts MP in a tricky situation. If they run out of sensors, they need to find an alternative, and there are a few out there (https://stimulant.com/depth-sensor-shootout-2/). Building hardware is expensive, risky and takes time. So if you do it, you want it to last for a few years, which means that using smaller and higher res sensors is the way to go.

MP already proved that their software can support Project Tango + Intel RealSense sensors (https://matterport.com/matterport-and-google-atap-project-tango/) which positions MP as potentially an hardware independent service provider. However, RealSense hasn't caught up fast enough with OEMs, and these delays are exposing MP to potential competitors, like the Iris VR that was briefly introduced a few months back (thanks @garysnyder for spotting it - http://forum.we-get-around.com/topic/1940/disruptive-technology/).

So, here is the dilemma for MP. Do you update the camera with new and better sensors (which you need to do if PrimeSense stops supplying OEMs), or you wait for the market to be flooded with Project Tango devices and make money with subscriptions?

Not an easy choice when you have investors knocking at your door and hungry competitors pre-announcing alternatives. I personally think MP has still enough time advantage over anybody else, so they will be fine for the time being, which means, we may not see new hardware until there is a strong business reason for doing it.
Post 3 • IP   flag post
Forum Founder DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
@Tosolini excellent insight and commentary.

I could imagine that the day Apple acquired PrimeSense, Matterport has been working on implementing an alternative sensor.

I see Matterport Pro 3D Camera as the professional solution and Project Tango as the consumer solution.

While the consumer market for processing and hosting will eventually overshadow the scale and scope of the professional market, it's essential for Matterport to:

1) create the market (with the Pro solution)
2) create a consumer solution

The amazing thing about Matterport - it's like they invented electricity and the lightbulb at the same time:

1. Camera
2. App to run the Camera
3. Cloud processing
4. Could hosting
5. Content Delivery Network (CDN)
6. Ancillary services (VR, Floor plans, TBD Matterport Studio)

Eventually, they should get out of the camera business. Open source the plans for the Camera. Let others create cameras (once there is a sizable market to interest other companies).

@Tosolini Do you think Matterport will continue to do incremental Camera improvements (or totally surprise us) with a Camera with better lenses, new sensor tech (with better stitching, outdoors capabilities) and solutions we haven't even imagined?

Dan
Post 4 • IP   flag post
Tosolini private msg quote post Address this user
Hard to predict what MP will do in the future. I think refining the software ecosystem is their best bet, as regardless of the input (phones, camera PRO, etc.) it's not something you can replicate quickly. That's valuable Intellectual Property that will last for a long time.

As per a brand new Camera Pro, who knows? It seems a lot of extra work that is not yet necessary. You can probably do incremental internal updates to the existing form factor without the need to announce it and create drama with your customer base (e.g. should I wait to buy the camera? Can I exchange my camera with the new one? etc. etc.). If there are minor internal updates, I don't think we'll be informed about them.
Post 5 • IP   flag post
ron0987 private msg quote post Address this user
Great points made by Steven and I agree with him, I normally don't upgrade each time a new camera comes out, maybe 2-3 releases later, unless like Steven said I could trade my camera in and pay the difference. Or there was such a drastic change in the camera I could not walk away from a business point of few. Better yet give me a discount for being a longstanding customer and a discount to upgrade.

Tosolini as always great information and insight.

Dan also good information and I agree the final Project Tango will be more of a consumer camera, with the information that has been released up to date. But I think a lot of the development into Project Tango could be very helpful in a pro camera if they were also focused on it or working with a developer like Matterport with a structured focus on an established platform and service with a specific use.

Just my input.
Post 6 • IP   flag post
Tosolini private msg quote post Address this user
If you read Intel's latest announcement at its Developer Conference, you can imagine how sometimes in the future, you'll be able to miniaturize a MP camera down to the size of a Ricoh Theta.

Intel's Project Euclid is a RealSense module for robots
http://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2016/8/16/12504678/intel-project-euclid-robots-realsense-module-tiny-computer
Post 7 • IP   flag post
31582 7 7
destitute