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Zillow launches AI-powered 3D home tours app

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Zillow’s new 3D Home app allows realtors to create 3D tours . File photo

Zillow has launched a new app that captures 360-degree panoramic photos of a home and creates a 3D tour.

Zillow 3D Home is available for free for iOS devices.

“Making 3D home tours available for sellers and agents to capture and add to any listing, for free, in the U.S. and Canada is a huge milestone in our work to make the real estate transaction a more seamless, on-demand experience for consumers,” said Josh Weisberg, Zillow’s senior director of product development, 3D and computer vision. “Previously, 3D tours were only found on high-end or expensive homes, due to the high cost and time-intensive capture process. 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.”

Zillow began field testing 3D Home in January 2018 in select U.S. markets. During the pilot program, nearly half of the thousands of 3D tours created were generated outside of markets supported at the time. During the 3D Home pilot program, agents reported that listings with 3D tours attracted more potential buyers, earning higher listing views and engagement than those without 3D media.

According to the 2018 Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report, 45% of Gen Z and 41% of Millennial buyers find 3D tours or recorded video of a home very or extremely important in helping them decide on their home.

“Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties was a pilot partner for Zillow 3D Home in Atlanta, and we currently have almost 600 listings with 3D Home tours,” said Dan Forsman, president and CEO, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties. “Our associates and their seller clients are very happy with the result because Zillow 3D Home allows consumers to better understand the flow of the property and also helps our listings get more visibility with potential buyers.”

The app, currently available for iOS devices, works by capturing 360-degree panoramic images, using either the iPhone’s camera or a 360-degree Ricoh Theta V or Z1 camera that integrates with the app. When using only an iPhone, photos are shot within the app as on-screen instructions provide guidance for capturing the best possible images. Once the entire house has been shot and photos are uploaded to Zillow, the app uses several technologies in tandem – from computer vision to deep learning – to stitch together 3D tours, enhance photos’ exposure, and select thumbnail images that best represent each room. Once complete, tours are immediately available in the “My 3D Home” dashboard to edit, share privately, or add directly to a listing on Zillow.

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