Despite being a hugely popular platform for Virtual Tours, Matterport has way too many disadvantages and issues that make it unsuitable for the standalone and data-rich Virtual Tours and Digital Twins that we produce. In today’s article we are going to answer the following questions: what is Matterport?, how does Matterport work?, why do we try to avoid using Matterport? and what Matterport alternatives do we offer?. Keep reading to find out how avoiding the Matterport platform allows us to help you to #ONEUPYOURBUSINESS.
WHAT IS MATTERPORT?
Despite the common misconception that Matterport is a camera, at its core, Matterport is an online subscription service (gets quite expensive very quickly, by the way) that processes photographs taken with iPhones, certain 360 degree cameras, their proprietary Matterport Pro 2 camera or the Leica BLK 360 laser scanner in order to produce Virtual Tours.
For an additional cost per Virtual Tour, they allow you to download certain elements to integrate with BIM and even a CAD floor plan.
HOW DOES MATTERPORT WORK?
In order to produce a Virtual Tour, you need a Matterport-compatible camera, which could be an iPhone, a handful of 360 degree cameras, the proprietary Matterport Pro 2 3D camera or the Leica BLK 360 laser scanner.
After capturing the images from your chosen camera, they get uploaded to the Matterport platform for interpreting. The processing that Matterport looks very similar to how our photogrammetry software analyses the results from our drones in order to produce the 3D results.
Once the processing has finished, you can access the results from their proprietary cloud service and share them with colleagues and clients. Depending on the subscription plan that you have, you could have from just 1 space to 100, although they let you buy more spaces at a hefty expense.
WHY DO WE TRY TO AVOID USING MATTERPORT?
For us, the Matterport platform has way too many drawbacks. We only use it in cases when the client considers it as their platform of choice.
The main disadvantages of the Matterport platform are:
- Only certain cameras and scanners work with it, they try to push you to buy their proprietary Matterport Pro 2 3D camera
- For the price that it costs, the Matterport Pro 2 3D camera is subpar when compared to other competitors. Since it is not a 3D 360 degree camera, the workflow is quite clunky and requires much more frequent repositioning
- The most useful functionality, like CAD floor plan extraction and downloadable assets for BIM integration, only works with the Matterport Pro 2 3D camera and the Leica BLK 360 laser scanner
- You can only have a certain number of active Virtual Tours at any given time
- The Virtual Tours are branded quite prominently with the Matterport logo at the bottom. The logo is quite big and makes everything look cheap and unprofessional. There is no way of removing the logo from the Virtual Tours
- The Virtual Tours can only be accessed from the Matterport platform. You can share the link and embed the video in your website, but you will have to check your security settings, because it works as an iframe. The Virtual Tours DO NOT work offline, which is extremely inconvenient if you are on site and have no signal
- If you stop the subscription the Virtual Tours are fully removed. This is a huge problem if you retire or close your business but your clients want to keep the Virtual Tours active
- The subscription gets very expensive very quickly. Matterport pride themselves in having no extra costs, which is true, but the most useful functionality like downloadable assets for BIM integration or the CAD floor plan extraction are something that you have to pay for with each new Virtual Tour
- Their whole business plan is designed to keep you locked in to their platform for an indefinite time and buying the proprietary 3D camera. As a specialist contractor providing services to other companies, making a sustainable and long-term business with this platform is simply not possible
- Their customer service is one of the worst we have ever experienced. Their employees were rude and with a bad attitude. If we are going to pay for a premium subscription, we expect a premium service and this is definitely not the case
WHAT MATTERPORT ALTERNATIVES DO WE OFFER?
With all those critical and business-destroying drawbacks of the Matterport platform, we spent a considerable amount of time doing research and trialling different alternatives until we came up with a sustainable and long-term offering for our clients.
In order to produce the best and most accurate results, and depending on the application, we use a combination industrial-grade of 360 degree cameras, 3D 360 degree cameras and survey-grade laser scanners. After processing the results, we gain several advantages:
- Since we are processing the results ourselves, we have much more control of the outputs
- Our results work both online and offline: if you are onsite and have no signal, you can still show the Virtual Tour to your colleagues and clients
- Our results can be fully integrated with your website in many ways: we can give you the results in HTML to be uploaded to your current site or an external server, or if you prefer to avoid that hassle, we can host the results for you in a military-grade secure cloud platform
- Our Virtual Tours are unbranded by default, but we can overlay your logo if you prefer
- The 3D Point Clouds that we can produce for you are much more accurate since they made with a laser scanner
- The Virtual Tours will still work after we retire in many years from now
- We can always use the very best available cameras and laser scanners since we are not tied in to a proprietary platform
- Our Dollhouse views and CAD floor plans are fully bespoke
- We can integrate results from the drones with the Virtual Tours and 3D models, to let you have a fully immersive experience
We firmly believe in forming long-term partnerships with our clients and by moving away from the Matterport platform, you can rest assured that our Virtual Tours will be the highest possible quality and will be indefinitely available.