Today, users clicking through locations on Google Street View will start seeing quite a bit more houses and businesses pop up that they can actually jump into and explore themselves. This is possible thanks to a partnership between Google and Matterport.
Matterport is a real estate company which produces 3D scans of homes that allow potential buyers to preview spaces before making in-person visits. The company has disclosed about $65 million in funding from investors like Qualcomm Ventures, Greylock Partners and Y Combinator.
The 3D, 360-degree views will be available through the tap of a button allowing users to travel through indoor spaces in the same way they are used to clicking down streets in Street View.
Google has already been doing a bit of indoor surveying through partnerships with individual 360 photographers, but this partnership opens Street View up to a much larger library of content. Matterport has an index of over a quarter-million indoor spaces that users can view using either a web viewer of VR headset. It will ultimately be up to the individual partners of Matterport to decide if their content ends up being viewable on Street View, but the company believes this partnership will greatly expand the reach of its customers.
Matterport is ultimately not the only partner to whom Google is opening its Street View API, but it is the sole company which will be offering 3D views of spaces in addition to 360-degree scans which should allow for more compelling views as Google embraces new technologies like virtual reality.
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When you’re looking at moving into a new space, Street View is often a useful tool to get the general vibe of the area but it’s almost impossible to really tell what spaces look like indoors without physically being there.