Zillow Group Home Capture App press release, October 2017:

By getting a better understanding of a home or rental property’s layout and the transitions between spaces, prospective buyers and renters can narrow down the number of properties that they actually might need to see in person.

For sellers and agents, the new service reduces the cost and effort previously needed to create a 360-degree tour of a home.

“Right now, it’s really expensive and time consuming to add 3D to a listing,” Zillow Group chief marketing officer Jeremy Wacksman told GeekWire. “An agent has to buy an expensive camera and pay hosting fees, not to mention the hours it takes to capture the images. We think everyone should have access to this type of technology. If the technology is already available on a device an agent or property manager already uses, we’ve gotten over the hurdle of adoption.”


We created, implemented and updated scheduled home capture services and cloud media processing, sharing and publishing beginning in 1995. In 1997, we began to embed real estate agents in the homes.

We still have some of these early scenes.

This example included a “Grand Tour”, that is the ability to move throughout the home by simply tapping the room or navigating within the scene. The short video below illustrates some of the early “Quicktime VR” scenes.

Apple’s Quicktime VR was the first widely used panoramic creation software. A number of companies followed including “Interactive Pictures” or iPix and Bamboo (famous for promoting their service at a NAR convention with a cage of cash) among others.

There were a few patent skirmishes along the way, often lead by iPix.

It is possible that Zillow will attempt to patent some aspect of their Home Capture App. There have been a number of iOS and Android apps that capture and share panoramic scenes. Perhaps this brief history might be useful to the intellectual property community.

A few related links:

Augmented Reality (AR) app: Bayern Munich’s AR push starts from its app:

Fans who download the latest version of the team’s iOS app can use the AR feature to bring either team captain Manuel Neuer or forward Arjen Robben into their selfies. There’s an option to pick which of the club’s three jerseys this season (home, away and UEFA Champions League) Robben wears in the photos as well as a feature to personalize and then screenshot the number and name on the back of one of the jerseys. Fans can buy the personalized jersey directly from the club’s store.

One can imagine Zillow selling AR agent placements inside any listing.