People looking to buy a new home can take a virtual tour of prospective properties through Zillow's 3D AI-powered app.
The real estate marketplace announced the release of 3D Home, a new iOS app that allows homebuyers to view houses that they are interested using 360-degree images.
The service is available for Apple users living in the United States and Canada.
Zillow's Virtual Real Estate Tours
Zillow had launched a pilot program for 3D Home, where thousands of three-dimensional tours were created and viewed along with the company's partners. One of these was Atlanta-based Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties, which helped capture image scans for more than 600 home listings.
Josh Weisberg, director of product development at Zillow, said creating 3D home tours available for home sellers and agents to add to their listings for free was a significant milestone. This would help make real estate transactions a more seamless, on-demand experience for homebuyers.
He noted how similar services were only available for expensive or higher end properties because of the high cost and time-intensive process of capturing images from 3D tours.
3D Home provides an immersive experience to home listings that is fast, easy, and most of all free for both sellers and buyers across price points.
How Does 3D Home Work?
Zillow's 3D Home service captures different images of properties using compatible cameras such as those on the iPhone or Ricoh's Theta V or Z1 360-degree cameras.
People capturing photographs will need to follow on-screen icons that make use of motion-detecting algorithms to let them know which sections of the property they need to take an image of.
Once they capture the entirety of the home, a computer program will adjust the exposure levels of the photographs, choose the best of the bunch to serve as thumbnail images, and then stitch the them together to create a three-dimensional view of the property.
Users can find processed tours at the dashboard of their 3D Home accounts. They can edit the tours, share them privately with other members of the service, or even add them straight to home listings.
Each 3D tour only takes around 20 minutes to process, according to Zillow. The service helped make home listings more attractive to prospective homebuyers compared to those that did not have the feature.
Eryn Richardson, general manager at Century 21 Heritage, welcomed the potential of Zillow's new service.
"Zillow has provided yet another way for agents to provide their clients with the best technology to promote their listings online," Richardson said.
"Zillow's 3D Home tours is a great example of how Century 21 and Zillow are doing everything they can to create an amazing home shopping experience for consumers."
Century 21 Heritage is one of Zillow's early partners for the 3D Home.
Zillow is starting to invest more in AI programs to help keep an edge over its competitors, such as Homesnap, Redfin, Realtor.com, and Trulia.
In 2006, the Seattle-based company launched its Zestimate benchmark, which makes use of millions of machine learning and statistical models to processed various data points and generate valuations for as many as 110 million properties all over the United States.