Coming for the Holiday period 2018 will be a revolutionary method which will allow shoppers to place products into their homes using augmented reality.
No Place Like, a Limerick based startup, is working to develop content for retailers which enables them to put products like chairs, tables and sofas into their customer’s homes at the click of a button. For the shopper, this is a massive boost to the online experience. Currently, about 10% of homeware is bought online, meaning stores have to keep large inventories, floor spaces and lots of variants of products in store. By enabling customers to digitally place a 1:1 scale version of the item into their homes it will be possible for them to make confident decisions around size and style for those crucial purchases.
Pictured, is the Brooklyn Sofa from EZ Living placed in real world scale through an iPhone. The shopper can drag it around the floor, spin it, and take photos to share for a second opinion. If they have a friend or family member with an iPhone, they can even send the 3D file directly to them to try in their own homes.
Allen Wixted, the company’s founder, explains why this is so important. “Irish retail is on the rise again and consumers are more tech savvy than ever. We see people take their phones to the store to see items they’ve seen online, in emails and on social media. We want to equip Irish retailers like EZ Living, Casey’s and more with the technology that tech giants like Amazon, Ikea, Target and Wayfair have been using for the last year. We’re talking to a lot of forward thinking retailers in Ireland and working hard to roll our service out for our clients. Over the coming weeks you’ll see 3D and AR content appearing on the Brooklyn Sofa range for EZ Living and Walter Range for Casey’s, with many more to follow.” By displaying products in AR the shopper gets a life size version of the product in their home. No Place Like’s chief 3D designer, Mark O’Sullivan, ensures that every item is exactly to scale with realistic materials and textures.
The idea was developed throughout Enterprise Ireland’s New Frontiers Accelerator in Limerick. Since June, Apple announced the latest version of their ARKit platform which enables No Place Like to develop content for retailers that can be distributed over email, web and iMessage. This means retailers with SMS lists can literally text a product for their customers to try in their homes. No Place Like is headed up by Allen but includes a team of software engineers, a global base of 3D designers to ensure products are designed 24/7 and a team of sales associates who are trained to match client’s needs with the platform’s capabilities.
The company has just been brought into two programs, which is a major milestone. Both Google and Startup Boost have taken them on board, into their Adopt a Startup programs and Pre Accelerator programs respectively. Throughout the next 3 months, they will be competing for up to €240,000 in Google cloud credits and a chance to be formally recommended to the TechStars incubator.
Online only stores are a key target for them as they look to expand to the rest of Ireland and the UK this year. According to Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, “we believe augmented reality is going to change the way we use technology forever”.
For those looking to learn more about No Place Like and how it works you can visit www.noplacelike.co. For any questions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re sure to see their designs appearing in your home soon!