This week, Mata Technologies Inc publicly launched their virtual reality services, tailored towards helping travelers discover new island destinations across the country. During the September 5 launch event, the company unveiled their latest collaboration, an interactive virtual map of Lubang Island, a project they say fully encapsulates their mission of digitally rendering all of the Philippines’ hidden gems, one island at a time.
Mata Tech bills itself as a provider of virtual maps and virtual tours for tourism and real estate. Their goal: To provide immersive previews of notable destinations and establishments, accessible on any internet-enabled device. They do this through a three-step engagement with partners:
- Assess: The team conducts an ocular visit to determine requirements for developing a virtual map of the space.
- Shoot: Upon approval of a quotation, a team of photographers are sent to capture 360 footage of the space.
- Develop: The footage is then post-processed and developed into virtual maps and customized tours.
In addition to these interactive maps and virtual tours, Mata Tech offers a slew of related services, including:
- Google Street View Mapping,
- 3D and 360 Scanning,
- Indoor 360 Photography,
- and Aerial & Underwater 360 Photography
Preserving national heritage
Following three years of R&D, Mata Tech was officially formed in 2022 by Cebu-based founders CEO Erika Dell Sancho and COO Ryan Tan Yu, as well as Germany-based CTO Bastien Lauer. Their initial offering was creating interactive virtual maps for real estate businesses. Through their services, potential hotel guests or office tenants could explore a space and its amenities online before having to pay a physical visit.
It was only after a project with Cebu’s Casa Gorordo, developing a virtual tour experience for the museum, that Erika and Ryan realized there was a much more impactful application of their services: the discovery and preservation of national heritage.
Today, the team now focuses on working with LGUs to bridge travelers with new island destinations off the beaten path.
“By being the digital bridge, we want to seamlessly blend the virtual and the real worlds, making these digital experiences the gateway to physical ones,” Erika said. “Leveraging technology, arts, and our natural beauty, we’re promoting our beloved country in entirely new ways.”
A virtual tour of Lubang Island
Mata Tech’s launch event culminated in a ceremonial signing, cementing the company’s collaborations with the municipalities of Lubang and Looc, Mindoro Occidental. “We see tourism as the stimulant for our economic growth, ultimately increasing the standards of living for Looc’s locals,” said Looc Mayor Hon. Marlon Dela Torre. “Given our limited budgets, we must explore our heritage as a way to boost our economy. These new technologies offered to us by Mata will allow more people to appreciate and explore the natural beauty that our island has to offer.”
Leveraging data for AI services
In the coming months, Mata Tech will continue partnering with regional LGUs, with the next collection featuring updated maps of a number of municipalities from Negros Oriental including Dumaguete and Zamboanguita.
Moving beyond their expertise in virtual mapping and tech-enabled design, the team is also keen on expanding their services by leveraging another asset they’ve amassed through their services: Data.
“We engage with our partners to in a collaborative process of utilizing data in various ways,” said Bastien. “We are developing tools that understand user behavior, preferences, and trends to allow our partners, like local tourism leaders, to make more data-driven decisions. And by using our data analytics, in conjunction with AI, each user gets a personalized experience, from tailored tours to property suggestions… Artificial intelligence is the thread that weaves all our data together.”
Utilizing these data-derived insights, Mata Tech will soon be launching an AI-assisted itinerary builder, allowing users of their virtual maps to create fully-customized travel plans based on their needs and budgets.
“We strongly believe that where tourists go, development follows,” Erika said. “At the heart of Mata, we envision a Philippines where every corner, every island, every hidden gem is accessible to the world.”