3D Mapping The Exploratorium with Matterport!

We visit San Francisco’s Exploratorium science museum with Matterport, a company that makes a room scanning camera for creating interactive 3D spaces. Matterport co-founder Matt Bell explains how the camera combines scanned meshes with high-resolution imagery to create a highly detailed model of The Exploratorium’s exhibit workshop. Explore the model here and here! (With special thanks to the Exploratorium, San Francisco, California)

Shot by Joey Fameli, edited by Adam Isaak

Comments (11)

11 thoughts on “3D Mapping The Exploratorium with Matterport!

  1. This is super cool, capturing all this the previous way with a single camera would be a pain in the butt and wouldn’t be as good for any of what they showed so this is pretty dam amazing. Curious as to how it would handle a single object though (not that it’s made for it)

  2. Great technology but steep prices. $4500 per camera+ minimum $499 yearly subscription and they still charge $19 per model created. This is the basic package pro and business go up from there. Clearly business/pro only, not that anything is wrong with that as a business model as hand modeling would be many times that and impossible in the accuracy achieved. Hoping builder/hacker spaces near me will get one for sharing.

  3. Gads… I was just there yesterday looking through the window at that space and thinking of all the things I could do in there…

  4. They should get together with Next VR to find a way to capture live feed in this 3D field. I’m also curious if this would be useful for forensics.

    Sounds like a cnc machine in the background.

  5. The camera was cheaper then I thought it would be. I was expecting the 8k+ range. But when you add in the cloud service and the charge by model plan, it gets expensive fast. Especially when you want to play around with it and try it out in various different circumstances.

    Gah, to be on the bleeding edge of tech and have a shallow wallet!

  6. If the browser stuff is accurate of the level of quality you can get… it seems pretty lackluster. We’ve seen plenty of LIDAR assisted models that look about the same, just cheaper to create and probably simpler. Curious if they can go far enough to genuinely recreate a space accurately because this looks to be similar to something like google street view/3D map data.

  7. Their camera is nothing special, those are 3 Carmine sensors (similar to Kinekt and the Structure Sensor), mounted in a box with a stepper motor in it. You can get those Carmines for less than $100 each. The interesting part here is their software to generate meshes and stitch multiple captures (locations) together.

    I can’t find any real mesh data to see what they actually generate, but the mesh detail will be quite low. The color texture makes it look nice, but that’s it. I am very interested in the color texture, though, they do a great job with that!

    I do wonder what kind of construction people would want to take room measurements from Carmine data… that’s way too inaccurate at that scale to actually do anything meaningful with.

  8. The smart part in the approach was to notice that for most people, a “google street view like” transition node to node based on not cleaned 3D data is good enough.

    It looks like there is one mesh created which is mapped differently from each teleport node, and when you move from node A to node B there is a fade from “texture projected from node A” to “texture projected form node B”. And that is also why you have to use their navigation software, because you do not have one regular texture but many of them (one per node) .

    If you want to move freely with the Vive in room scale VR for instance with this kind of data, each time you cross “the border” between two nodes (let’s say at the middle) your texture will switch.

    But anyway that is very good in some cases (real estate for instance) because you get something ok quickly and that is pretty monkey proof on the capture side. But it is not good in others cases (VFX for instance) because in this case you need top quality. But honeslty, business wise, it is smarter to prioritize real estate over VFX 😉 For hotel visits, it will depend on the type of hotel (I do not think luxury hotels will go for unpolished data).

    I would be curious anyway to see the mesh they use in full 3D navigation system as they mentioned (with no teleport node). Because in this case thay will have to merge all the textures in one and that is where the real challenge begins. I see Matterport demos for a while and I never saw one with real full 3D move. If there is any on the web, please let me know.

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