The home improvement sphere is benefiting greatly from the latest technological advancements, helping experts in the field perform their job with more accuracy and less hassle. Plus, homeowners and renters can play a bigger role when deciding how to improve their residences, as augmented reality (AR) in the home helps users visualize new possibilities for their living spaces.
Tech giants such as Apple, Amazon and Google have rolled out AR platforms that allow developers to create apps for virtual home decoration, maintenance and renovations. The technologies offer a variety of improvement or modification options for consumers, including virtual home staging, furniture selection, testing out paint colors and helping users develop a well-ironed home improvement plan. Here are four of the most innovative augmented reality apps for the home that can serve as inspiration for home improvement companies looking to develop their own app.
Online architecture, design and decorating website Houzz developed an app using Apple’s ARKit that offers a number of home decoration solutions. The app allows users to decorate the walls of their house using wall detection software. They can use it to scale objects on their home’s walls and test designs, sizes and styles to ensure they are happy with a certain paint color or item before making a purchase.
Houzz also allows you to place items on tables, such as lamps, or pendants on walls with perfect accuracy to fit the dimensions of your room. The key is to make the shopping experience more immersive with AR, offering consumers a variety of items they can test out with the rest of their home.
Every item you look at can be either added to your shopping list or discarded, depending on how you feel about it. Houzz also makes it easy to share virtual images with friends and design professionals, and you can also save them in a virtual idea book. Once you’ve found your ideal design, you can use the Houzz app to find architects, interior designers, or home improvement contractors in your area. This app is a great example of how companies can develop user-friendly, easy-to-use AR apps that help their customers shop smarter.
Ikea has also used ARKIt to develop an app called Ikea Place, which allows users to place furniture around the house using real dimensions, giving them an idea of whether or not an item fits and how it looks in a certain place. Customers can also position other objects around the house to adorn it, using AR to simulate what the end result would look like with more than 2,000 items.
The app automates the process of scaling products based on room dimensions, offering about 98% accuracy. Ikea claims the AR technology is so precise that it will allow users to see the texture of the fabric, as well as how light and shadows affect a particular home. You can even walk around the virtual objects and interact with them to see how you would look next to it.
Everything from sofas to coffee tables and dining chairs can be simulated with Ikea Place. You can filter items based on types of products, like “Baby & Children” or “Chairs and Desks,” although the developers have yet to create a search function for the app. The app is an improvement on Ikea’s previous Catalog app, which had a 3D visualization tool but a poor user interface and a less accurate scale.
Painting and Decorating
Users can simulate different paint colors for walls and ceilings with the Dulux Visualizer app. It allows you to choose any color from the app’s wide array of options, more than 1,700 in total. Just tap your phone screen and point it at any wall to paint it in the color of your choice.
Dulux also allows you to take pictures of your walls and ceiling with your favorite color possibilities in order to easily compare different colors. You can choose any major color, then narrow that idea down to the shades of that color you prefer, followed by all the colors that follow that particular subset, offering you a very specific range of colors to choose from. Once you pick a color, you can buy the paint within the app.
The app also allows you to take a video of an entire section of your home, which you can then use to fill in the walls with the color of your choice. Shadows and lighting work well with the Dulux app as you’ll get an idea of what a color will look like during a certain time of the day. Plus, you can share photos with friends who can use the image or video to offer their own color suggestions.
Home Depot has developed a shopping app that is useful for both customers in the company’s stores and in their homes. The clever app uses AR to snap an image of your home and stock it with any number of virtual items, such as a sink, a faucet, or a deckmate. Much like the other apps, you can use this one to take screenshots of your creations and home improvement ideas, which you can then share with friends, family or experts.
Thanks to a chat functionality that connects you with knowledgeable online associates, users can work alongside home improvement professionals to help you design new ideas and themes for their home. The app is linked to the Home Depot website, making it easy to buy the products you select.
Augmented reality is allowing for incredible innovations in many industries, from construction to retail to home improvement. If you’d like to capitalize on this technology and create your own app for home improvement and decorating purposes, though, you will need a developer with the talent and experience to help you achieve your goals. The team at SevenTablets is perfectly equipped to develop an augmented reality app for the home. We’re also experienced with other cutting-edge technologies, including virtual reality, blockchain, artificial intelligence and natural language processing.
Lacey earned a B.A. from Baylor University. Sic'em!
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