Augmented reality: New experiences for the furniture industry
Digitally enhancing analogue environments
Picturing what a sofa purchased online would look like in their own home or visualising whether a new table really goes with the interior decor is something many people find difficult.
This is where augmented reality, or AR for short, comes in. AR applications enhance analogue environments with digital elements, allowing users to experience furnishings, such as a table or a cupboard, virtually in real rooms. All they need to do is download a smartphone app and scan the item with it.
Trying out new furniture virtually
“In the interior design industry, augmented reality can be used to digitally position items of furniture directly in the environment where they are later to be located,” says Aaron von Lüpke. A trained mechanical engineer and computer scientist, he co-founded the tech company YONA, which has set out to take augmented reality to a new level.
“With the aid of the app, you can position a new desk true to scale in your office, try out different models in the room, and get an idea of the effect that items of furniture and design objects will have on you,” explains von Lüpke.
In the interior design industry, augmented reality can be used to digitally position items of furniture directly in the environment. (Source: YONA Group GmbH)
Merging the real and digital worlds
Bad lighting or the wrong angle can prevent viewers from immersing themselves fully in such virtually generated visual worlds. Current developments like the YONA app are therefore working on new ways to make the virtually enhanced environment appear as real as possible.
“Location- and weather-dependent lighting, projection onto curved surfaces and 3D object streaming are techniques that are taking us closer and closer to the complete merging of both worlds,” says Aaron von Lüpke.
Benefits for the furniture industry
3D animations, 360-degree photos, interactive videos and images or a completely individual project – the app transforms the enhanced reality into a complete experience.
“The big advantage of augmented reality is that it can simplify the preproduction phase in all product segments and thereby preserve capacity at all levels,” emphasises Aaron von Lüpke.
Design iterations and prototypes can be positioned in space using virtual technologies without actually having to build them first. “This approach saves not only valuable materials, but also time and ultimately money. What’s more, it allows prototypes to be configured directly in the place where they will later be used, which increases efficiency in product development.”
Aaron von Lüpke from YONA (Source: YONA Group GmbH)
A tool for collaborative work
In addition, augmented reality opens up new possibilities for collaborative work. Project participants working from different locations can see the design in the space and make changes to it in real time. A further advantage is that animated 3D objects, such as avatars, arrows and texts, can be used as assembly and operating assistants. They make it easier to use the products by providing intuitive visualisations and explanatory elements.
A direct experience
Applications such as the YONA app provide new possibilities to present furnishings in different environments and from different perspectives. Augmented reality saves the effort of having to physically position each product in the room. Originally known from the gaming scene, the technology is becoming more and more sophisticated. But where an online game immerses players in a completely created reality, augmented reality enhances the viewer’s current environment with digital elements, making the direct experience even more real.
Aaron von Lüpke will present the YONA app and the possibilities that it opens up on 12 May 2023 on the Trend Stage at the upcoming edition of interzum. You can find more information on his talk and the other presentations in the programme in the trade fair’s Event Search.