As many consumers cannot get to physical stores right now amid the coronavirus pandemic, the time to explore augmented reality (AR) initiatives for retail may be nigh.
Threekit, a product visualisation software provider based in Chicago, certainly believes so. The company has announced the launch of a configurable AR feature, which allows shoppers to see and customise ‘millions’ of product variations in augmented reality.
This is by no means the only offering which enables different product views through AR. Indeed, writing for Forbes earlier this week, Softengi CTO Ilya Gandzeichuk noted the ‘try-before-buy’ aspect had been ‘significantly transformed’ by augmented reality.
Threekit argues its method of instant configuration sets it ahead of the pack, however. The company gives an example of a furniture company which sells 100 chairs and 10 colours per model. With those parameters, 2,000 3D and AR-ready files – assuming they sell for iOS and Android – would have to be developed.
“Previously, in order to achieve the same results, product marketers needed to create new technical specifications and 3D files for every colour, material, and feature that a product might be available in,” the company wrote. “This is a complex and time-consuming process that involves 3D modellers and web developers.
“Threekit is offering configurable AR to automatically generate 3D files for every customisation on iOS and Android devices, allowing brands and retailers to easily deliver a premium shopping experience,” it added. “Customers can see exactly what they have personally customised in the context of their own space, and no longer have to depend on a single 3D model to represent what they’re looking for.”
Ben Houston, founder and CTO, noted the impacts of Covid-19 emphasised the importance of the types of business Threekit is pursuing. “The way that people experience, learn about, and purchase products today, will have a lasting impact on what they expect from businesses in the future,” he said.
In July, a study from SYZYGY Extended Realities found that UK consumers believed in an extended reality (XR) future for entertainment and retail. Four in five millennial respondents believed XR would soon be used day to day.
You can watch a video of Threekit here.
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