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DFS launches in-browser augmented reality function for iOS

Furniture and upholsteries retailer DFS has launched an augmented reality (AR) feature on its website which can be used by customers with iOS devices.

Once activated, the feature means consumers can point the camera function on their iPhone or iPad and see how products will look in the room they would be positioned in. The images are to scale and are expected to give shoppers more certainty when purchasing big-ticket items online.

DFS said the technology is the first of its kind to automatically detect room space and work purely in a browser, without the need for a “marker” object to determine room dimensions or a separate downloadable app. The aim of this approach was simplify the shopping process as much as possible, according to the retailer.

Global eCommerce consultancy Salmon was recruited to implement the new feature, which uses the latest iOS 12 software update introduced by Apple at the end of September.

All 3D-rendered model assets needed to support the launch were created by Viutek.

James Vernon, head of online at DFS, commented: “We wanted to offer something truly unique to our customers that was not only aesthetically pleasing, but intuitive and practical too.

“Choosing a new piece of furniture is never an easy task – particularly online – but the new AR-enabled feature will help improve the online shopping experience and make the purchasing decision much easier.”

The furniture retailer has enabled this feature for ten products, with plans to roll out every product on the site in months ahead. Salmon is currently building the prototypes for Chrome and Firefox so that it can be introduced as soon as the feature becomes available on Android devices.

Naji El-Arifi, head of innovation at Salmon, added: “As well as greater expectations around price and delivery, consumers are also demanding more interesting ways to shop both in-store and online.

“The ability for users to recreate their perfect living space in the touch of a few buttons could well be the future of furniture shopping online.”