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Virtually walk through dream homes with Zillow’s new A.I.-powered 3D home tours

Home sellers and real estate agents listing properties on Zillow’s real estate marketplace now can add 3D tours for no charge to their listings. Zillow 3D Home uses artificial intelligence (A.I.) on an iOS mobile device app to create the tours with 360-degree panoramic photos taken in and around a home.

Zillow began testing the app in 2018. The impetus behind the project came from a survey report from Zillow’s research group that found 45% of Gen Z and 41% of Millennial home buyers stated 3D home tours and videos were very important or extremely important in their home buying decision process.

According to Zillow, the real estate agents from Berkshire Hathaway and Century 21 who tested Zillow 3D Home to enhance property listing found offering 3D tours for all listings helped them differentiate their marketing services to prospecting listing clients.

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Clients and agents like the tours because they attract more potential buyer views and engagement than listings without video or 3D tours. Buyers report they appreciate the 3D tours’  ability to give them a better understanding of the flow between areas in a home than static still photos of rooms.

Real estate agents can use Zillow 3D Home with the iPhone’s camera or with Ricoh Theta V or Z1 360-degree cameras. The Ricoh Theta cameras create full panoramic images. When agents use the iPhone camera with the app, on-screen instructions give directions on how to take the shots. After capturing images of all areas of a home, the agent uploads the image to Zillow via the app.

The Zillow 3D Home app uses computer vision and A.I. deep learning to create a 3D tour. The app enhances the images exposures, stitches the image together to form the tour, and chooses the best thumbnail image to represent each room or area in the home. When the app finishes the creation process, the 3D tour is available on a separate 3D Home dashboard where the agent can edit, share, and add to the home’s listing on Zillow.

“Previously, 3D tours were only found on high-end or expensive homes, due to the high cost and time-intensive capture process,” said Josh Weisberg, Zillow’s Senior Director of Product Development, 3D and Computer Vision. “Now with 3D Home, adding an immersive experience to a home listing is fast, easy, and free, which benefits buyers and sellers at all price points.”

Bruce Brown
Digital Trends Contributing Editor Bruce Brown is a member of the Smart Homes and Commerce teams. Bruce uses smart devices…
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