Wayfair has opened a new R&D lab near its Boston headquarters with a focus on advancing the visualization of products through first-party technology. The Wayfair Next Research and Development Laboratory is now investigating 3D scanning techniques to digitize the company’s catalog of product to be used for augmented reality, virtual reality and 2D rendering. Also at the lab: a hands-on demo that invites people to re-imagine a room by customizing the model, material, color and layout of furnishings and decor.
Wayfair's augemented-reality technology for Google Tango
“The introduction of virtual reality and augmented reality demonstrates that the tools for visualizing home furnishings and decor digitally are improving,” shares Jessica Dowling, head of Trade Services at Wayfair. “These tools will help solve a key pain point designers face, such as being able to effectively convey their design concepts to a client. With augmented reality, designers can show a furniture piece in the client’s space without spending hours rending through drawings. Virtual reality takes this concept to the next level.”
“While Wayfair has already changed the way people shop for their homes through unprecedented selection, service and convenience, we are never done in our commitment to continually enhance the online retail experience through technological innovation,” says Steve Conine, the company’s co-chairman and co-founder. “Virtual reality and augmented reality will enable shoppers to bring their home decor ideas to life before they even make a purchase. We look forward to rolling out solutions we believe will make e-commerce a preferred method for purchasing home furnishings, and inspiring and educating the community about the potential of these visualization technologies in the home space.”
“Both of these technologies help with the visualization of different looks and allow a client to walk through their newly designed space before committing to a product purchase,” says Dowling. “As a result, these technologies may decrease the chances of surprises during the installation phase.”