- Wayfair, the online marketer of home furnishings, released an interior design app called Wayfair Spaces that works with augmented reality (AR) headsets developed by Magic Leap One. The app lets shoppers see professionally designed rooms and helps them visualize products in their homes, according to a press release.
- Shrenik Sadalgi, head of next gen experiences at Wayfair, said in the release that the Magic Leap app will help to inspire shoppers by immersing them in the design process at home. Wayfair Spaces also shows a palette of 3D rooms curated by Wayfair's artists and stylists for inspiration.
- Wayfair announced the new app at Magic Leap's inaugural L.E.A.P. conference for creators and developers on Oct. 10. Wayfair Spaces is available for download in the Magic Leap app store, ML World. The app follows the release of a commerce experience for Magic Leap's Helio web browser earlier this year that showcases mixed-reality experiences.
Wayfair is at the forefront of home furnishings retailers that are using augmented and virtual reality (VR) tech to immerse shoppers in a computer-generated environment to help them visualize how products might look in their home or for inspiration around new decorating ideas. The retailer was an early early adopter of Facebook's 3D image posting feature that lets users view lifelike models of furniture from multiple angles inside the Facebook News Feed. Last year, Wayfair introduced an AR app for iOS as Apple rolled out software tools to help developers working for agencies and brands create immersive smartphone experiences.
Wayfair is among home furnishing retailers like Ikea, Houzz, Artemest, Anthropologie, Macy's and Williams-Sonoma have added 3D and AR tech to their marketing mix to enhance the shopping experience. Online retailing of furniture, appliances and equipment grew by more than 20% on an annualized basis for eight of nine quarters through 2017, more rapidly than overall e-commerce growth, per comScore data cited by The New York Times, and mixed-reality features will become increasingly important as e-commerce continues to shift toward mobile.
As Magic Leap starts shipping the Creator Edition of its mixed-reality headsets, which cost $2,295, the company is showcasing commerce applications and content being developed for the budding platform. Magic Leap's initial customers in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco and Seattle can sign up for a home visit from a Magic Leap employee who will demonstrate the headset's features, TechCrunch reported.
The company's first developer conference also brought announcements of fresh content for the headsets. "Spider-Man" video game studio Insomniac Games is creating an experience to let users grow holographic creatures, and actor Andy Serkis teased a mixed-reality recording of musical "The Grinning Man," per The Verge.