A New Reality

July 22, 2018

Televisions with 3D capabilities and phones with professional-grade, built-in cameras are old news. What’s hot now is Augmented Reality (AR) – a type of technology that overlays the natural world with computer-generated images.

This might seem like stuff of the future or for video gamers alone, but it’s actually proving to be a useful tool in many industries, include our own. This week’s KBTribeChat discussed the fascinating possibilities that AR could bring to the table in interior design.

What It Is and What It Isn’t
Augmented means to add or enhance something. In the case of AR, graphics, sounds and touch feedback are added to create an enhanced user experience. Unlike virtual reality, which requires the user to inhabit an entirely virtual environment, augmented reality uses the existing environment and simply overlays virtual information on top of it, usually an image.

Enhancing the Interior Design Experience
Think of all the times you’ve tried to convince a client that a certain product or color would be best for their project, but they simply cannot visualize it in their current space. AR can take an image of the existing space and place a product – like a countertop or sink – virtually into the space so they can have a better idea of how it would look.

Clients and designers can also easily switch out products to compare and contrast, saving time in making decisions and ensuring that everything works in the space before it is installed.

Marketing with AR
Brands that implement AR into their system already have a step up; since the technology is considered young, the brands using it are considered innovative and forward. In addition, using AR demands repeat yet unique engagement with customers and can evoke an emotional and visceral consumer response.

“Augmented Reality is a great opportunity for manufacturers because it allows customers to explore products in new interactive and engaging ways in real time throughout the product sales cycles,” said Scott Koehler of Whispering Pines, N.C.-based Dream Kitchen Builders. Koehler is a design technology expert and a frequent contributor to KBB magazine.

Are you using AR in your business? Let us know on Facebook or on Twitter @KBBConnect.