Thu, May 16, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Start-up showcases 3D virtual property-viewing software

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

A team from iStaging Corp (愛實境) and National Tsing Hua University yesterday demonstrated their 3D virtual property-viewing software, saying they are working with Google Inc to secure more collaborators.

iStaging was named one of the nation’s 10 coolest tech start-ups by the Ministry of Science and Technology last year.

It collaborated with the university as part of one of the ministry’s projects.

After the firm launched an application to collect property images called VR Maker, it worked to improve the property viewing experience by integrating the university’s artificial-intelligence techniques for constructing 3D models from 2D images, iStaging founder and chief executive officer Johnny Lee (李鐘彬) told a news conference at the ministry in Taipei.

Users can upload panoramic images of a property to the app and download 3D models of it, Lee said.

They are charged a membership fee of US$29 per month and an additional fee to download the 3D models, he said, adding that discounts would be available in July.

The app has reached realtors in 50 countries and gained more than 100,000 users, Lee said.

Google is enthusiastic about the product, because there is an almost unlimited source of data, he said, adding that the firm looks forward to working with other platforms such as Hotels.com and Agoda.com.

Lee said he expects the viewing technique to be used in the tourism, interior design and retail sectors.

The company has the potential to become a tech unicorn, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Hsu Yu-chin (許有進) said.

While previous house viewing apps were mostly built using 2D data and required users to be in fixed position, theirs is built using 3D data and allows users to view a property from changing positions, said Chu Hung-kuo (朱宏國), an associate professor at the Department of Computer Science.

Their VR software has a machine learning precision rate of up to 90 percent, which is higher than the 80 percent of most other applications, meaning less errors would occur, Chu said.

Yao Chih-yuan (姚智原), an information engineering associate professor at National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, also worked on the project.

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