Matterport and VR House Models

Matterport Dollhouse -- Matterport
Matterport Dollhouse — Matterport

If you’ve been shopping for houses or apartments online in recent years, you may have run into 3D virtual walkthroughs — these are software models of interior spaces you can “walk” through by clicking on a computer screen, or by wearing VR glasses (still not widely available.) After initially clumsy and low-res beginnings, these have now become quite useful, allowing you to see finishes, traffic flow, and even appliance labels far more than is possible in the 30-40 photos now standard for high-end house listings. This makes it more practical for overseas and remote buyers to consider buying a house without ever having seen it in person.

The VR model is created using a specialized camera setup. The photographer places the camera tripod at eye level in representative spots throughout the space, and software stitches the resulting high-res 360-degree photos together into a virtual model of the interior.

Local photographer Marco Carocari used his spiffy new Matterport camera to record a friend’s modern Palm Springs mansion here. It’s easy to spend ten or twenty minutes stepping through it.

A big gallery of diverse Matterport-recorded spaces is here.

Mansion Engineer

Welcome to Mansion Engineer, where we make bigger houses better.

Small houses are great for many people, but some of us want more space or have more family members than can fit into a smaller house. Mansion Engineer will report on ways to make big houses more efficient and easier to maintain. A big house doesn’t have to be wasteful, so if you own or are thinking of buying a big house, look here for projects to convert lighting to LEDs, add solar, and turn that white elephant into a green castle. You don’t have to live in a cramped house to be energy-thrifty.