Matterport 3D Showcase of the Mirus Art Gallery in an Oculus headset - content courtesy of Immersio.
We have been working with developer versions of the Oculus Rift for quite some time and immediately saw the potential for immersive VR headsets to really make the most of our 3D content. We can’t wait for these devices to become commercially available – if you visit us at the National Association of Realtors (NAR) show in November; you get to try one out for yourself. That’s actually one of the most fun parts about working at Matterport – you get to show people totally new things and see the excitement it brings them.
We’re excited to be developing an application for Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 device and Gear VR headset (Powered by Oculus). We were there when Samsung debuted both products at IFA in Berlin in early September and it was one of the biggest hits of the show.
Why is this a big deal? It’s hard to describe in words, but trust us that once you try out a VR headset and experience a Matterport 3D Showcase, you’ll know why we’re so excited about it. This is a product category that goes from quizzical to incredibly compelling in the first few moments you experience it. The first reaction most people have is a gasp, then a big smile, then they say things like, “wow”, “unbelievable”, “incredible”, “amazing”, “oh my God!.” You get the picture…
With a VR headset, you are plunged into an immersive environment that captures the same visuals and spatial navigation you would experience if you were present at the actual location. Look up, look down, turn around, and navigate through – you are completely surrounded by the space and quickly forget about the room you are physically in. You don’t see a depiction or a photo of a space; you walk around the space and truly experience what it’s like to be there.
We’re very proud of the 3D Showcases you can see with your computer or tablet as it gives the most immersive view a 2D display can offer, much more compelling than photo galleries or videos of a space. VR Headsets take it one step further, by completely blocking out your current surroundings and letting you look around by moving your head and eyes naturally. When people first try it, we find ourselves warning them to resist the temptation to walk or reach out to touch anything so they don’t knock anything over in the real world (not everyone can resist!).
I’ve been lucky enough to see the early stages of development of a couple of “game changing” big hits. The first was the original cable modem way back in 1994 where seeing the early prototypes you just knew that this was going to be huge. I could see it in the reaction of every person I demonstrated it to. The second was in 2009, before the iPad launch, when I worked for a start-up that had a touchscreen device with a 7-inch screen that ran Android. The “tablet” category hadn’t even been established yet, but once you used it, you just knew that this was something groundbreaking. Well, I feel the same way every time I show a 3D Showcase to someone on an Gear VR Oculus unit – people can’t contain their excitement around what they are seeing.
With this product category, like those others, seeing is believing. It’s pretty awesome at this early stage, and it’s going to be world changing once it really gets out there. Look for more on this in the coming months, and in the meantime, if you have a chance to check it out you should take advantage of it.