Explore the Power of 3D with Digital Twins

Digital twins are an exceptional way of capturing and sharing spaces in immersive 3D, and can move the needle across many industry use cases.

With the launch of Matterport for iPhoneBETA, we welcomed many new members to the Matterport community and into a world where immersive 3D spaces can be created by anyone, anywhere - simply using the phone they own. What better time for a refresher course on Matterport basics, and how to best harness the power of digital twins?

What is a digital twin?

A “digital twin” is a dimensionally accurate 3D digital representation of a built space such as a residential or a commercial building, and our powerful all-in-one 3D data platform lets you Matterport a space and turn it into an accurate and immersive digital twin. Click here to see some examples in our 3D Model Gallery.

So, how do you build a digital twin, and more importantly, why should you create one?

What can a digital twin do for you?

Beyond being an exceptional way of capturing and sharing places that matter to you, digital twins have proven instrumental to different industries. Here are some examples of digital twins:

  • For real estate, a digital twin in the form of a 3D virtual tour , helps agents earn more by selling properties faster and at a higher price. Matterport also helps win more listings as a  powerful marketing tool.

  • For travel & hospitality, 3D tours increase bookings, drive higher occupancy rates, and increase engagement rates.

  • For architecture, engineering, and construction, digital twins streamline documentation and reduce costs and site visits with virtual collaboration in 3D scans of projects.

  • For insurance and restoration, digital twins are the fastest and most comprehensive loss documentation solution that helps close claims faster, enables remote viewing and adjusting, and reduces disputes in property claims.

  • For facilities management, digital twins are an efficient, effective way to survey existing building conditions, manage maintenance and develop remodeling plans.

  • For public spaces, like museums and galleries, digital twins enable 24/7 access for visitors and help event planners to make better informed booking decisions by offering a fully immersive, fully detailed 3D vision of the perfect venue.

Interested in seeing more digital twin applications? Check out one of our recent blog posts, which lists 12 examples of digital twins across industries, to get inspiration for your next project.

How do you capture a digital twin?

1. Pick a Capture Device

To create a digital twin, pick a capture device to scan the space.  Matterport works with a wide range of digital cameras - from supported iPhones or iPads, to the Leica BLK360, our own Matterport Pro 2 camera and select 360 cameras.  Choose an option that meets your immediate and growing needs.  

Comparison of cameras and uses

2. Download the Matterport Capture App

Once you select your preferred capture device,  download the free Matterport Capture app from the App store. You will use this app to capture spaces with your iPhone, iPad or other supported capture devices. 

3. Choose a Matterport Subscription Plan

The digital twins you capture are hosted on the Matterport Cloud, so you need to open a  Matterport account to personalize, share and store your spaces.  Matterport offers various subscription plans suitable for different use cases and budgets, but you can easily start with a free one here and upgrade your plan as your needs evolve.

What can you do with a Free Plan?

A free plan is a great way to start experiencing the magic of Matterport. In a free plan you can create unlimited digital twins, and have 1 one of them active at a time to share or publish (sharing and publishing is limited to digital twins created by supported iPhones and iPads during the Beta period). 

What do we mean by “active”?  All digital twins have 2 states: Active or Inactive (Archived).  An active digital twin is a fully functional 3D model of any building or property, and it is the default state.  When a digital twin is active, you can view, customize, publish and share it. When a digital twin is archived, it can only be viewed by you and can not be shared with others or be published, unless you make it active again.


Paid plans

# of digital twins you can create



# of digital twins you can keep  in active state


Starts at 5, and increases for higher plans

# of digital twins you can share with friends, family, and colleagues

1 (only active twins can be shared)

Same as above

# of digital twins you can embed on your website and publish to portals

1 (only active twins can be embedded and published)

Same as above

*Note: Our free plan only works with supported 360 cameras,  iPhones, and iPads. 

If you own an iPhone 6s or newer model or iPad Air 2 or newer, sign up for a free account and start capturing  spaces right away! Get a taste for the power of 3D capture for free, and within minutes. For a real estate agent, it’s a great opportunity to try creating  a digital twin of a property, and post to MLS and Realtor.com. You can show off the same 3D tour to win your next listing. Or if you own a vacation rental, it’s a simple  way to capture  a 3D virtual tour and post it to VRBO.

When is the right time to upgrade?

After a while, you may realize that a free plan may not fit your growing needs.  A starter plan is a great next step as an affordable yet powerful option. It comes with up to five active spaces, meaning you can share and publish up to five digital twins at a time. 

Before you upgrade your plan, consider the number of active spaces - or digital twins - you will publicly publish and share at a time. Matterport offers a variety of plan options and you are never locked in. You can cancel any time, or switch plans as your business changes with just a few clicks.  So go ahead and give it a try.


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