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Retail technology

Wayfair jumps on Magic Leap with AR home visualization app

Wayfair Spaces

E-commerce homewares company, Wayfair, has released an augmented reality interior design and room planning app especially for the new Magic Leap headset.

“Wayfair Spaces”, as it’s called, acts as a virtual showroom for select pieces of the retailer’s furniture and home accessories collection. It is powered by Magic Leap’s spatial computing platform and available on the new Magic Leap One Creator Edition headset, which shipped this week.

“At Wayfair, we know that visual inspiration and discovery are key to creating the best possible shopping experience for home. That’s why we’ve always taken the lead in setting industry standards in 3D modeling and visualization, and in building innovative applications that will transform the way people shop for their homes,” said Steve Conine, co-chairman and co-founder at Wayfair. “Alongside Magic Leap, we’re excited to be on the forefront of one of the most visionary explorations of what’s possible in retail, as mixed reality and spatial computing influence the future of the customer experience.”

Users can access Wayfair Spaces from the comfort of their own home and browse through multiple, professionally curated rooms featuring a selection of home products from the company’s own 3D artists and stylists.

Those 3D rendered interior spaces aim to inspire consumers to imagine the look and feel of the products. Favored elements can then be easily dragged-and-dropped using the Magic Leap handheld controller into the customer’s own home to visualize them more specifically. 

By then clicking on items in front of them, they can also view a more detailed description, read reviews and see the price.

AR is growing in relevance at retail, with numerous brands experimenting with this level of visualization since tools to use it have become more commonplace, namely through iOS and Android devices. Wayfair has done so previously alongside the likes of Ikea, Amazon and a myriad of beauty businesses.

Wayfair announced its new Spaces app at Magic Leap’s inaugural L.E.A.P. conference for creators and developers this week. It is now available in the Magic Leap app store, ML World. Additionally, shoppers can find the Wayfair web experience by visiting next.wayfair.com in the Helio browser.

How are you thinking about augmented reality? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners for your innovation strategy. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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e-commerce Retail technology

Shoppers are craving more augmented reality tools for online shopping

Wayfair augmented reality
Wayfair

Almost half of shoppers (45%) say they would spend larger amounts online if they had access to technology to help them better visualize what they’re buying, according to new research from e-commerce agency, PushON.

The survey of 1,000 shoppers, also showed 40% of them more specifically would like to use augmented reality (AR) technology to test a product out virtually before they buy it to get a feel for how it would look in real life.

Over half of shoppers (52%) believe retailers should be investing in technology to create a seamless link between in-store and online shopping, which we’re increasingly seeing AR enable.

According to Sam Rutley, managing director of PushON, utilizing AR in this way will help to provide shoppers with the same level of service and information that they’d receive in store. “This will go a long way towards increasing consumer buying confidence through the higher levels of assurance this technology can offer, meaning they’ll feel comfortable spending more online. Technology is the future and retailers can’t afford to ignore the changes that are happening within the sector – particularly when consumers themselves have clocked on to the benefits of investing in it.”

The research comes as more retailers are indeed beginning to invest in such technology to enhance the online shopping experience for customers.

Earlier this year, Ikea launched its Place app, using Apple’s ARkit to allow customers to virtually try out furniture in their own homes. The app places 3D, true-to-scale models of Ikea’s range of furniture to help give an accurate indication of the item’s size, design and functionality in your own home. Other homeware stores including Wayfair and Lowe’s are doing similar things.

Meanwhile, AR is also becoming important for fashion. Zara has recently begun trialling the technology in its physical stores to encourage shoppers to see models come to life on their mobile phones, while luxury brands such as Gucci are using it for immersive storytelling.