American internet retailer Overstock.com Inc. updated its iOS app on Tuesday to enable shoppers to view thousands of products in augmented reality.
The new functionality makes use of ARKit, a new Apple Inc. tool that aims to simplify the process for developers to add augmented reality capabilities to their apps.
“Augmented reality is changing the way people shop for furniture and home goods forever,” said Overstock.com President Saum Noursalehi. “Shoppers no longer have to guess how a piece of furniture will fit in their room, or if a pattern will match their existing design style. Instead, they can use their phones to see the exact product in their actual room, helping them make the most informed purchase decision.”
He also added that AR is another nail in the coffin for brick and mortar stores, as it removes one of the last remaining advantages physical stores have over e-commerce and solves several major friction points of shopping for home goods online.“Customers now have the assortment of a home goods store with millions of products and the convenience of seeing how those products fit in their own home before purchasing. And with recent advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning, soon you will be able to completely decorate an empty room just by mentioning a design style, or see recommendations of products that will match the actual pieces in your home all within the AR environment.” he said.
Shoppers can use the AR features if they have an iPhone 6s or later that is updated to run the new iOS 11 software. However, the AR technology worksthe best on the just-released iPhone X, which has depth-sensing cameras that the other smartphone models don’t have.