New 3D ARKit App from Houzz.com brings 500,000 Objects to Moveable Life

Virtually place 500,000 products in your room in 3D and buy directly in the app for iPhone and iPad.

With the launch of iOS 11 from Apple, one of the most anticipated developments is the rush of new augmented reality apps that hit the market, leveraging Apple’s new ARKit development platform. Houzz, the design and home renovation community, is among them, with a new version of View in My Room 3D within the free Houzz app, with a catalog of 500,000 images for people to view, move and install in their virtual rooms. It lets you virtually place half a million home furniture, decor and remodeling products for every style and budget -- from sofas to bathroom vanities -- exactly where you want them in your home, true to scale. Walk up to products to see realistic materials and textures and buy them directly in the Houzz app when you’re ready, without having to go to a furniture store.

While augmented reality — as Matthew Panzarino from Techcrunch pointed out here — is “going to spread to every aspect of computer vision, photography and imaging,” the Houzz app underscores how AR is impacting two sectors in particular, design and commerce. Both have arguably been hindered by tech up to now: you cannot touch objects, you cannot see them as well, and you are limited by the size of a screen. AR, with it its emphasis of optimising images as well as making them more lifelike and movable, will change all that and maybe even help commerce and design online leapfrog ahead of the real-world experience.

“We’ve created a true AR-enabled home design and shopping experience where you can experience the largest 3D product catalogue available in your home, and also buy the items you love directly on the Houzz app,” said Alon Cohen, Houzz president and cofounder, in a statement. “At Houzz, we’re focused on building tools that transform how you renovate and design your home and that deliver the single best experience for this industry.”

One of the hardest parts about decorating your home is imagining what furniture would actually look like in one of your rooms.

Just because you find a table you love at IKEA, after all, doesn't mean it'll look great once it's in your cramped kitchen. And the last thing you want to do is buy an expensive item you can't return, especially if you did all the heavy lifting yourself.

That's exactly what Houzz set out to fix with its new augmented reality tool.

The home design platform released the "View in My Room 3D" option on its free app in early May. The feature lets you "try out" furniture in your home the same way you would clothing in a store. You don't have to shell out a single cent; you barely even have to lift a finger.

Point your camera where you want the furniture to be in your room. On your phone screen, use one finger to move the 3D product. Use two fingers to rotate the product 360 degrees. Double tap the product to bring up other options including "Add to Cart," "Duplicate," and "Delete." And pinch in and out with two fingers to make the product smaller or bigger. With the upgraded View in My Room 3D tool, shoppers can design and experience a room’s layout by adding multiple 3D products to a space, including products on top of rugs. Each product viewed in 3D is automatically kept in a shopping list for easy checkout. As View in My Room 3D is fully integrated with the Houzz platform, people can get inspired from the 15 million home design photos on Houzz, discover products they love in the photos, view them in AR, and instantly buy them from the comfort of their home, without having to go to a furniture store.

Currently, there are over 500,000 furniture and home decor products you can view in 3D on Houzz's app. And "this is really just the start," said Sally Huang, lead of Visual Technologies at Houzz. "Our product catalogue is growing daily." So far, Houzz's app is only available on iOS. But if you have an iPhone or iPad, you can download it for free on the App Store, and try out the 3D tool feature for yourself.

Read more about the 3D Augmented Reality Tool with ARKit at https://www.houzz.com/press/398/Houzz-App-Upgrades-3D-Augmented-Reality-Tool-with-ARKit-to-Help-You-Design-and-Shop


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