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Chris BellCommentaryGeoCVNodalviewPro3Smartphone

Will Matterport Offer a Smartphone Capture Solution?9879

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Nodalview Virtual Tour by We Get Around Atlanta Chief Photographer Dan Smigrod | Shot with an iPhone 8+ paired with the Nodalview Rotator

GeoCV 3D Tour courtesy of GeoCV | Shot with a smartphone paired with the GeoCV Rotator

Video: WGAN-TV How Matterport Will Scale Exponentially Short Story #727 - Matterport Cortex enables 3D from 2D photography

Will Matterport Offer a Smartphone Capture Solution?

Hi All,

There are four reasons that Matterport will offer a smartphone capture solution:

1. Improve Image Quality
2. Price of Smartphones
3. Exit Hardware Development
4. 5G

Improve Image Quality

Surprisingly – or not surprisingly – it's possible to create far better 3D tour image quality using a smartphone than with a Matterport Pro 3D camera. Simply look at any GeoCV 3D Tour or Nodalview 360º Tour created with a smartphone. (See GeoCV and Nodalview examples above)

Price of Smartphones

To scale Matterport exponentially, one of the drivers is bringing down the cost of the camera. While we may debate the quality of Matterport 3D Tours captured with an Insta360 One X or Ricoh Theta V, the point here is that the 3D Tours are "good enough" that Matterport opened its platform to these 360 cameras to enable more Matterport content creators. Now, for less than $400 (versus the $4,500 that I paid for my Matterport Pro1 3D Camera in July 2014), Matterport 3D Tour creation becomes much more affordable. And, these 360º 1-click cameras will only get better in quality (and likely continue to decline in price).

Arguably, the even lower cost camera is in our pocket: a smartphone. And, while my iPhone XR phone costs much more than an Insta360 One X or Ricoh Theta V, I would argue that the incremental cost of using a smartphone is zero because I already have the iPhone. Imagine when Matterport enables smartphones, anyone will be able to take Matterport for a spin. While it would likely make sense to have a dedicated smartphone for creating Matterport 3D tours, the key is how does Matterport reduce friction to Matterport 3D Tour trial creation. Trial is the key. It's the beginning of adopting Matterport 3D Tours.

Plus, most people upgrade their smartphones every 12 or 24 months, our Matterport capture device would automatically improve (without having to buy a new, dedicated camera).

Exit Hardware Development

While Matterport CMO Chris Bell went out-of-his way to confirm that Matterport is working on a Matterport Pro3 3D Camera for release by December 2020, he did not say anything about its design or feature sets in my WGAN-TV Live at 5 interview with Chris Bell.

Perhaps the Matterport Pro3 3D Camera will actually be the smartphone in our pocket. While I suppose Matterport could be exploring LiDAR tech - rather than the existing structured light tech - to enable outdoor scanning, I could also imagine that Matterport needs - wants - to focus on tech that enables the masses to do 3D scanning and let the high-end happen through other cameras.


5G will enable Matterport 3D Tours to be easily and affordably uploaded from the field: rather than waiting for us to get to a location with high-speed internet. By default, data captured on a smartphone is ready to be uploaded via 5G in the not too distant future. Speed will be important for verticals such as water and fire damage for insurance adjusters and news media.

While it's obvious to me that Matterport will offer a smartphone capture solution, it's not so obvious to me is when.

Certainly, Matterport could accelerate its smartphone capture strategy if it acquired GeoCV or struct deals with GeoCV and Nodalview to enable publish to Matterport.

10 Reasons Matterport will acquire GeoCV
GeoCV versus Matterport: Will GeoCV make Matterport Irrelevant?
My Second Nodalview Virtual Tour (Including Navigation)

What are your thoughts on smartphone capture for Matterport?


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I am extremely surprised this has not occured, I have been to several seminars showing how iPhones are currently being used to 3d map rock quarries for volume and minning to show how much material has been removed. Final product is photos and 3d point clouds. I am just not sure why it has not migrated to real estate.
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2020 is the year!

Please see this related WGAN Forum discussion:

“Apple will introduce a radical 3D camera in its 2020 iPhone“

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Hi All,

I could imagine that Matterport is under an NDA with Apple so that Matterport would be among the first to do deep integration with the iPhone's laser-based 3D camera.

I could imagine this could be the Matterport Pro3 3D Camera for all the reasons described above.

Your thoughts?

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Hi All,

I wrote this two months ago. Seemed timely to move to the top of the WGAN Forum.

Matterport Demoed 3D Capture for iOS and Android Smartphones: in Beta 4Q19 (26 September 2019)

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