Augmented reality to help shoppers try it at home

2 Jun 2010

A new augmented reality service from YOUReality and Metaio that will help people see products like furniture in their own home space before buying could allow shoppers to make more confident buying decisions and boost sales for retailers.

With the introduction of its Online Retail Visualisation 3D tool, YOUReality is making it possible for consumers to see products in their own space before they purchase them by integrating augmented reality into a suite of commerce applications.

The new services allow shoppers to make more confident buying decisions, deliver retailers a higher sales conversion rate, and significantly lower product return costs.

To make the shopping experience even more engaging and informative, many retailers are enhancing their websites with multimedia features such as video clips, virtual visualisation or slide shows so that shoppers can better understand product features.

About YOUReality

With YOUReality, customers can even ‘bring it home’ and try before they buy, allowing consumers to visualise context-sensitive products with life-like 3D models in a photo of their own home environment.

The resulting image provides a realistic view of what the object will look like in that space with the ability to move the item around (maintaining correct dimension and perspective) and change colours, styles, sizes and textures of the 3D object while viewing it in the photo.

By pioneering the concept of Retail Visualsation using the Metaio platform, YOUReality has harnessed the power of 3D for a practical purpose.

“YOUReality gives a cool technology relevance in the world of commerce by driving retail sales through increased conversion rate,” says YOUReality founder Michelle Fallon.

“Retail Visualisation takes the guesswork out of the visual aspects of shopping, such as selecting fabric choices, textures and colours, making the buying decision faster and easier because consumers can literally see furniture, electronics, appliances, even accessories, in their own space at the point of sale.

“Retail Visualisation for e-commerce allows the user to visualise products in a web store and then add the selected items directly to the shopping cart to complete the transaction online,” she says.

YOUReality has a suite of cutting-edge 3D applications for brick and mortar and e-retailers, product manufacturers, designers and others that want to engage the marketplace, ignite buying decisions, and convert online or in-store visits to sales.

“YOUReality’s products are game-changing sales tools that provide an interactive experience and a level of personalisation that leads to increased conversions and sales, lower shopping cart abandonment rates, upsell and cross-sell opportunities, and higher customer satisfaction,” Fallon says.

The future is mobile

This kind of context-sensitive retail product visualisation on mobile devices will be the next big step for augmented reality, moving beyond the eye-candy or gimmicky status.

“By integrating products directly into the customer’s environment on a smartphone, the shopping experience will become even more convenient and direct,” says Dr Thomas Alt, CEO of Metaio.

“Our prototype iLiving, which is already available for iPhones in the app store, gives you a glimpse into the future of mobile shopping.”

By John Kennedy

Photo: Retail Visualisation enables customers to interact with products in their own space

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years