IPIX and Homestore to Expand the Adoption of Virtual Tours in US Real Estate

 

 

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. and WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. – October 5, 2004 – IPIX InfoMedia, the world leader for the creation of full 360-degree panoramic photography and movies content, and Homestore, Inc., the leading provider of real estate media and technology solutions, today announced that they have reached an agreement to restructure their joint efforts to market and sell virtual tours to the real estate industry.

 

Beginning today, IPIX InfoMedia will market and sell its virtual tour photography solution, the IPIX Interactive Studio, directly to the US real estate market and Homestore will expand its hometour360 program to support in addition to IPIX, a wider range of imaging technologies. As a result, real estate agents and photographers will benefit from a broader choice of panoramic imaging solutions and enhanced marketing capabilities. The companies will continue to work together to grow the adoption of virtual tours in the US real estate industry.

 

 “We have been working with IPIX for many years to help real estate professionals market their properties online with 360-degree images,” said Allan Dalton, president of Realtor.com, operated by Homestore. “We believe that virtual tours are one of the most effective online marketing solutions and look forward to the next phase of our relationship with IPIX refocusing on the real estate marketplace and introducing new virtual tour creation features tailored to the real estate professional.”

                            

“We are pleased to be directly servicing the US real estate market with our full 360-degree photography products and services, including our recently introduced IPIX Interactive Studio,” said Clara Conti, President and CEO, IPIX Corporation. “The IPIX Interactive Studio includes features tailored to meet the needs of real estate professionals and their service providers to efficiently produce high quality virtual tour photography that can be directly integrated into marketing programs such as hometour360.”

 

The 2001 License Agreement, where IPIX had granted Homestore exclusive rights to sell IPIX virtual tour technology to the US residential real estate market, is no longer in effect.  In its place, IPIX has granted Homestore a license to sell the IPIX Wizard software and IPIX image viewer software to support IPIX real estate Keys sold by Homestore.

 

About IPIX InfoMedia

IPIX InfoMedia is the world leading provider of solutions for the creation of full-360 degree panoramic photography. IPIX InfoMedia products offer superior image capture and an open, flexible data format that can easily be integrated into a wide range of business systems. IPIX InfoMedia solutions serve the Visual Media and Visual Documentation markets. IPIX InfoMedia is a business unit of IPIX Corporation (NASDAQ: IPIX). IPIX Corporation offers mission critical imaging where visual content is required for eCommerce and the protection of life and property. Learn more about IPIX's three business units (IPIX AdMission, IPIX Security and IPIX InfoMedia) at www.ipix.com.

 

IPIX, the IPIX logo and IPIX Interactive Studio are trademarks or registered trademarks of IPIX Corporation. 

About Homestore

Homestore, Inc. (Nasdaq: HOMS) is the leading provider of real estate media and technology solutions. The Company operates the number one network of home and real estate Web sites including its flagship site REALTOR.com(R), the official Web site of the National Association of REALTORS(R) and HomeBuilder.com(TM), the official new homes site of the National Association of Home Builders. Homestore also operates RENTNET(R), an apartments, corporate housing and self-storage resource and Senior Housing Net(R), a comprehensive resource for seniors, as well as Homestore.com(R), a home information resource. Homestore's print businesses are Homestore(R) Plans and Publications and Welcome Wagon(R). Homestore's professional software divisions include Computers for Tracts(TM), Top Producer(R) Systems and WyldFyre(TM) Technologies. For more information: http://ir.homestore.com

 

REALTOR.com®, hometour360°™ and the Virtual Tour Distribution Network™ are trademarks of Homestore, Inc. REALTOR® is a federally registered collective membership mark which identifies a real estate professional who is a Member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.

 

 

REALTOR.COM EXPANDS VIRTUAL TOUR OFFERINGS

 

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. – October 5, 2004 – Realtor.com, the official Web site of the National Association of Realtors, today announced that it will be expanding its virtual tour offerings to support nearly all virtual image creation technologies. Beginning November 30, 2004, real estate professionals will be able to enhance their listings on Realtor.com in one of two ways: An expanded, full service hometour360º program or a new, more flexible PicturePath program. Both will enable participating virtual tour companies to better service real estate professionals by marketing their customers’ homes with virtual tours, the online listing enhancement consumers prefer.

 

“We are very excited about the changes being made to Realtor.com’s virtual tour solutions,” said Allan Dalton, president of Realtor.com. “Consumers repeatedly stress their attraction to listings with enhancements like multiple photos and virtual tours. The decision to transition our virtual tour strategy is based on our commitment to providing the industry with increased flexibility, which we believe will result in a better experience for consumers and our customers. Flexible technology options, multiple images, agent and property branding features, reliable hosting and the Virtual Tour Distribution Network make the new hometour360º virtual tour an extremely attractive product for the today’s savvy real estate professional.

 

Homestore will convert its comprehensive hometour360º product into a hosting and distribution solution powered by a choice of virtual image creation technologies. Homestore will continue to support IPIX’s virtual image solutions, but will now enable alternative imaging technologies to be used. At the same time, the current PicturePath product will transition to a link submission solution. Homestore intends to begin offering these solutions November 30.

 

Historically, access to Homestore’s hometour360º program was only available to virtual tour service providers that agreed to acquire the hometour360º Wizard software and keys needed to create IPIX 360-degree images. Under the new solution, hometour360º service providers will be able to purchase virtual image creation software from a variety of technology providers, including, but not limited to, IPIX. Participating hometour360º service providers will be able to upload these images along with property information, flat photos and agent information to create the industry-leading hometour360º virtual tour. These tours will be hosted by Homestore, operator of Realtor.com, and disseminated across the Internet through the Virtual Tour Distribution Network (VTDN). Unprecedented in its breadth, the VTDN includes more than 600 national, regional, broker, office and branded real estate Web sites that accept virtual tours from Realtor.com.1

 

All other virtual tour service providers will be invited to join the PicturePath program. These providers will have increased flexibility to deliver their virtual tours, created with any technology and hosted themselves, to Realtor.com for listing enhancement for a nominal fee.  

 

For more information about changes to hometour360º and PicturePath, visit http://imaging.homestore.com or call (866) 483-4749.

 

ABOUT REALTOR.COM

Realtor.com is the official Web site of the National Association of Realtors. Ranked as the No. 1 homes-for-sale site, Realtor.com currently offers potential homebuyers more than 2.1 million Realtor-listed homes for sale as well as the most brokers and agents to contact. The site also provides home sellers with the Internet's largest marketplace to reach more than 6.1 million consumers per month.2 By using Realtor.com, agents and companies have the power to customize the resources of the Realtor.com Web site to maximize their brand and productivity. The Realtor.com Web site is operated by Homestore, Inc.

 

REALTOR.com®, hometour360°™ and the Virtual Tour Distribution Network™ are trademarks of Homestore, Inc. REALTOR® is a federally registered collective membership mark which identifies a real estate professional who is a Member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics. All other registered trademarks, or service marks are the property of their respective holders.

 

1Listings must be active on these sites in order for virtual tours to appear.

2comScore Media Metrix, June 2004

 

 

Contact:

Homestore, Inc.

Erin K. Campbell

Director, Corporate Communications

805-557-2303

erin.campbell@homestore.com