Home furnishing retailer Wayfair was among the first to adopt AR technology as a means of helping people better visualize furniture and accessories in their own home, ahead of purchase. Today, the company is expanding its feature set to allow for more visualization capabilities -- even when you're shopping out in the real world and aren't able to take a photo of your room to use AR.
Instead, shoppers will be able to leverage a new feature called "Interactive Photo," which lets shoppers take a photo of their room, then visualize multiple products within it, even when they're not home in their own space. The feature itself uses technology to understand the spatial information of the room in the image to give you an AR-like experience using your photo.
Alongside this addition, Wayfair has updated its app to put its camera tools more at the forefront of the app experience. Similar to how you can click a camera icon next to the Amazon app's search bar, you can now do the same in Wayfair. You can then toggle between the various camera-based features with swipe gestures, in order to move between Wayfair's visual search and its "View in Room" AR feature, which is also where you'll find the new "Interactive Photo."
The retailer has also launched its room design tool, Room Planner 3D, on the mobile shopping app. This allows shoppers to create an interactive 3D room that they can view from any angle, while testing out different layouts, styles, room dimensions and more.
The update follows Amazon's launch earlier this year of its own visual shopping experience called Showroom, which let online and mobile shoppers try out furniture and other décor in a customizable virtual room where they pick the wall color, flooring, carpet and more.
"With the latest updates to the Wayfair app, we continue to push the limits of what’s possible by iterating on advanced AR and machine learning capabilities, and introducing new and innovative spatial awareness techniques to an e-commerce experience, bridging the gap between imagination and reality," said Matt Zisow, vice president of Product Management, Experience Design and Analytics at Wayfair, in a statement.
The new feature set comes shortly after Wayfair's third-quarter earnings, where the company reported a wider-than-expected loss of $2.33 per share, adjusted, versus the expected $2.10 per share. Revenue was up 35% year-over-year to $2.3 billion, above the anticipated $2.27 billion, however. The company attributed the miss to "short-term headwinds from tariffs."
However, as the holiday shopping season heats up, Wayfair still needs to unveil enticing features that will encourage consumers to redownload its app and shop -- especially given that smartphones alone drove $2.1 billion in U.S. online sales last Black Friday.
The new Wayfair app is out now on iOS and Android, but the new features -- Interactive Photo, Integrated Camera and Room Planner 3D -- are only on iOS.