- The Amazon App for Android devices has been updated to include AR view, enabling users to visualize the look and fit of home furnishing products in their own living space in augmented reality (AR), according to information emailed to Mobile Marketer.
- The announcement follows Google's recent news that ARCore, its software kit for creating AR experiences on Android devices, has exited beta testing and is now widely available to developers. To use AR view on an Android device, consumers need to download the ARCore app from the Google Play store on a device that supports it.
- Amazon launched AR view on iOS in November. Since then, the retailer has made 15,000 of its top home furnishing items available for the immersive experience and reports that hundreds of thousands of items have been virtually placed in rooms, with customers more likely to purchase a product after they view it with AR view.
Google and Amazon both have high hopes for AR but competition is quickly heating up in the space.
Apple's ARKit has dominated opportunities for marketers to develop their own AR apps and in-app features since it launched last fall, with a number of big brands jumping at the chance to create more immersive mobile experiences. Now that Google's ARCore is out of beta testing and widely available to developers, the platform could scale up quickly as developers look to meet the need for AR experiences on Android devices. The speed with which Amazon jumped at the chance to port its AR view over to Android suggests it sees an unmet need. ARCore is similar to ARKit in promising an easy-to-use way for developers to build experiences.
A number of home furnishing retailers have embraced AR — including Ikea, Anthropologie and Lowe's. Amazon's AR view operates much the same way as these other experiences do, with users able to open the Amazon App, tap on the camera icon and choose AR view. Then they select from available items and overlay these onto their existing living space as viewed on their phone screen. Users can move items around and rotate them to get a 360-degree view. Amazon has uploaded a video to YouTube explaining how AR view works:
The fact that the e-commerce giant has made 15,000 items available for AR view and reports that users are more likely to purchase viewed items points to AR's potential to drive mobile conversions — which typically trail desktop — and Amazon's desire to not cede leadership in this space to other home furnishings retailers.
While AR use for shopping-related functions has mostly been limited to home furnishings and make-up trials so far, as the technology continues to evolve and gains wider adoption by consumers, it could be applied to other shopping categories, such as apparel and accessories — another area Amazon is eyeing closely.