May 1, 2016 | By Tess

3D scanning and capture technologies have been a boon to the hospitality and real estate industries, as they have allowed for more thorough and arguably even more honest marketing. By letting people virtually experience the spaces they are looking to stay in or even buy, certain companies within the hospitality industry have gone beyond simply showing photos of the spaces, and lets be honest, how many times have you been shocked at the small size of a room in real life after having seen a misleading photo?

Excitingly, but perhaps unsurprisingly, the next big company to begin integrating 3D virtual tours into their platform is Airbnb, perhaps the most recognized of the accommodation rental sites. The company, which is known for its innovative projects and pilot projects, has reportedly partnered with immersive media company Matterport to launch a new pilot project called “Sonoma Select”.

The pilot, which is said to be launching in July of this year, will be geared towards a number of popular and highly rated accommodation listings in the Sonoma, California area. What will set the selected Sonoma properties apart from Airbnb’s regular listings is an Instant Booking option, a 24 hour check-in, and even some local amenities from the host, which include such bonuses as complementary wine, luxury bath products, and a guidebook. Most excitingly, however, will be the introduction of virtual 3D models of the listed properties, which can be viewed through your browser or even through virtual reality devices like Google Cardboard and Oculus Rift.

Though many details of the pilot project and collaboration remain under wraps, some information was divulged from an Airbnb host who will be participating in the pilot project. She explains in an interview, “[Airbnb] must have some goals and objectives that they are looking to achieve as a business. I don’t know specifically what those are, but this seems like it really makes the whole booking process more quick and comfortable for customers. I have no idea whether or not we’ll have more guests because of this, but it seems like a great program to me.”

Matterport, which was founded in 2011, will reportedly offer its services to Airbnb by capturing 3D photographs of the selected properties to then make comprehensive 3D virtual tours of each of them. The service could be a breakthrough for the rental platform, and if the pilot is successful, we would not be shocked to find it become a more commonplace feature on the popular web platform.

The immersive media technology company, which last year raised a hefty $30 million to further develop its 3D virtual tours, has already worked with a number of other companies in the hospitality industry to create 360 degree videos, including Princess Cruises, Viceroy Hotels, and Wyndham Vacation Rentals. The technology has been successful thus far in increasing customer confidence in rental locations and is becoming increasingly popular. And, as Oren J. Tversky, Matterport’s Vice President of Business Development, explains, the success of their technology within the real estate industry shows how easily the technology could be used on a larger scale, to capture even thousands of rental or apartment spaces.

To accommodate a large demand for the 3D photography of spaces, Matterport uses its own Service Partner Network, a global network of photography partners that can be easily accessed through its website. The Matterport technology essentially works through the use of their specially designed end-to-end media platform, which comprises of the Matterport Pro Camera, the Matterport Capture app for iPad and the Matterport Cloud which generates the 3D model of your home.

Though the pilot project with Airbnb has yet to launch, you can already explore the Sonoma Select properties as well as their 3D virtual tours. So far, there are 37 properties included in the project.



Posted in 3D Scanning



Maybe you also like:


Joe Jesuele wrote at 10/19/2017 12:15:16 AM:

While 3D virtual tours may be “the next big thing,” it has been slow to penetrate the real estate photography industry for a number of reasons – ranging from cost to simple unfamiliarity. Read more here:

Randy wrote at 9/23/2016 9:10:15 AM:

Any updates about this project? How's it going, any plans to expand, etc?

Leave a comment:

Your Name:


Subscribe us to Feeds twitter facebook   

About provides the latest news about 3D printing technology and 3D printers. We are now seven years old and have around 1.5 million unique visitors per month.

News Archive