MagicPlan captures and maps your home with a smartphone

MagicPlan 3.0 debuted today to make creating floor plans as easy as, well, magic.

MagicPlan is a mobile application that uses sensor fusion, augmented reality, and reality capturing technology to let your mobile device draw a floor plan for you. Creating a floor plan typically involves tape measures, pencil, paper, measuring and remeasuring, and sometimes even complicated CAD software. The typical floor plan can take hours or days to build and can cost hundreds of dollars. MagicPlan does it quickly, cheaply, and without requiring a tape measure (which can be painful when mishandled … trust me).

“We have spent three years working on this technology,” said Pierre Gaubil, CEO of Sensopia, which produced MagicPlan. “It takes away the burden of measuring and drawing and needing to move furniture, It is a huge time saver, and there are so many potential applications and partnerships.

magicplanAt first, Gaubil said he expected real estate would drive the business, but there is also significant interest from the home improvement and design sector, as well as law enforcement agencies that have to submit crime scene floor plans to judges. To fuel adoption of the product, MagicPlan is also announcing major partnerships with Home Depot, virtual tour technology company Real Tour Vision, and interior design platform Cocontest.

These partnerships will drive MagicPlan’s distribution, which is already significant. Between 10 and 15,000 floor plans are added a day by users all around the world. The app, which is currently only available for iOS, has been downloaded over 3.6 million times and has won multiple App Store awards. MagicPlan launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to support development of an Android application. While Apple products involve one set of hardware, the Android platform involves many, and this poses a fresh set of development challenges.

The team, however, is up to the task. Four of the five founders are former CEOs with advanced technical backgrounds, and when they set out to build a new company, they aimed big.

“We have a very experienced team, so we wanted to be technologically ambitious,” Gaubil said. “As you go on the App Store, it is very public and you are exposed to competition. We felt our best protection was to create something technologically advanced that would be difficult to copy. We also wanted to do something mobile, because back then in 2009, we felt mobile would be as big a revolution as computers and change everything.”

Their predictions turned out to be true. Mobile devices are tricked out with accelerometers, gyroscopes, and cameras that make this type of application possible. Once the area is captured, augmented reality maps it and algorithms assemble all the pieces together. Sensopia holds three patents for the use of sensors to do floor plans on a mobile device, the ‘normalization’ of measurements (making it all fit properly), and how to leverage all data coming from sensors to assemble the floor plan.

MagicPlan costs $3 to download, with subscription packages and development fees available for businesses in home improvement, insurance, architecture, law enforcement, and other  markets. Sensopia has offices in San Francisco and Montreal.

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