LONDON - Opendesk, a London-based furniture maker and online design marketplace, has unveiled augmented reality (AR) technology that allows customers to see how furniture will look in their homes before making a purchase.
 
Teaming up with Hanover-based AR/VR innovators VRTX Labs, Opendesk's AR feature allows users to experience a virtual showroom in their own home or workplace right on their smartphones. 
 
Customers will be able to see what types of furniture pieces fit where.
 
AR is especially significant for Opendesk because the company has no showrooms and no stock. All furniture is made after the order has been placed through a "distributed manufacturing" model - where customers receive quotes from willing independent local manufacturers. From the moment the order is placed, a freshly-made piece of furniture takes about three weeks to arrive on a customer's doorstep.
 
The goal is to make sure all of its customers can experience a furniture piece without the need to visit a showroom. And the best way to do that is through AR, which Opendesk says is maturing rapidly thanks to the arrival of the latest iPhone update iOS 12.
 
The AR experience runs in Apple's Safari browser, so there's no need to run a third-party app.
 
All of Opendesk's designs are open-source, so users can choose both download fabrication files and make the furniture themselves. Furniture is generally made for a warehouse or retail space through a one-size-fits-all approach says the company. 

 

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