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Capture Virtual Reality with your Smartphone, Matterport, and Google’s Project Tanjo.

Mat­ter­port is a com­pa­ny that start­ed from the XBOX (jobs at Microsoft) Kinect Hack­er crowd back in 2010. Founder and CEO Matt Bell was amazed by the robust abil­i­ties of the $150 Kinect. He envi­sioned a cheap­er and equal device that could let any­one map out rooms to cre­ate 3D mod­els acces­si­ble straight from the web. Dur­ing this same time he was work­ing in a ges­ture recog­ni­tion com­pa­ny that uti­lized very expen­sive cam­eras and bloat­ed files that need­ed spe­cial­ized soft­ware to han­dle it. Mat­ter­port wants to make $50,000 cam­eras unnec­es­sary and have cre­at­ed a $4500 cam­era that can trans­form 2D images into 3D Vir­tu­al ones. Mat­ter­port is already a huge hit with the real estate crowd.

A year ago, Mat­ter­port (jobs at Mat­ter­port) got seri­ous about the com­mer­cial mar­ket, and raised a $16 mil­lion Series B to chase the real estate ver­ti­cal. Mat­ter­port tar­get­ed the com­pa­nies that help real estate work­ers pho­to­graph prop­er­ties. The com­pa­ny has already sold thou­sands of cam­eras, but are now being refu­eled by a very new injec­tion of $30 mil­lion and will be hir­ing out a top-notch team to make mobile VR scan­ning a real­i­ty.  Mat­ter­port wants to be more than a cam­era com­pa­ny, with the help of a part­ner­ship with Google they want to invent the abil­i­ty to let you wave your phone around to cre­ate VR tours of any­where you want called Project Tanjo.

Mat­ter­port believes once smart­phones can serve as the cam­eras and source images flood in becom­ing the soft­ware lay­er that stitch­es images togeth­er into VR their busi­ness will explode. The plan is to make an SDK and API’s that will let oth­er apps car­ry Matterport’s image stitch­ing to present VR to the pub­lic. So here’s the run­down on Google’s Project Tan­jo with Mat­ter­port. The plan is for Intel (jobs at Intel) to pro­vide its RealSense VR sen­sor hard­ware, Google (jobs at Google) to pow­er the scan­ning soft­ware, and then Mat­ter­port to stitch the imagery into immer­sive VR scenes.

It’s obvi­ous that Mat­ter­port is look­ing way beyond sell­ing cam­eras to real estate agents. Think about the poten­tial of shar­ing immer­sive 360-degree win­dows into what it’s like to be there. Post a Vir­tu­al par­ty up on your Face­book with entrees and par­ty goers! Once this tech­nol­o­gy can be ampli­fied through prop­er sym­bio­sis with oth­er com­pa­nies look­ing to grow this VR uni­verse, Mat­ter­port will def­i­nite­ly make itself mat­ter. Per­haps you could mat­ter too, jobs are open­ing as you read this article.

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