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article imageAmazon now lets you view items in your home using AR

By James Walker     Nov 1, 2017 in Technology
Amazon has announced a new app feature that lets you view what items look like in your home using augmented reality. It uses Apple's ARKit platform to let you visualise online products inside your living area, helping you decide which one to purchase.
In a statement today, Amazon said the feature's meant to help you check whether products will align with your home's style and aesthetic. When you're browsing products inside the app, you can click on the new camera icon to open an augmented reality viewer.
Using your phone's camera, you'll be able to see a 3D model of the item within your home. The feature lets you check whether furniture and home décor will work inside your own room, avoiding disappointment when your delivery arrives. The camera viewfinder lets you move and rotate the object around your living space so you can decide whether it will fit.
Amazon said "thousands" of products across several categories are initially supported. These range from large pieces of furniture through to electronic items such as stereo systems and TVs. If it's likely to make an impact on your in-home aesthetics, there's a high chance it's available for augmented reality viewing.
"Whether customers are buying a sofa or a kitchen appliance, they can overlay it onto their existing living space, move it and rotate it to get a full 360-degree peek in a live camera view to make sure it fits their style and aesthetic," said Amazon.
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Amazon's not the only retailer to offer AR shopping features in its app. Several companies have begun offering similar capabilities over the past few months. Amazon's implementation is similar to brands such as IKEA's, which is also using Apple's ARKit to power its augmented reality furniture visualisation features.
Augmented reality could be the key that unlocks retail's next big revolution. It solves one of the biggest challenges retailers have always faced, allowing consumers to visualise what items will look like inside their home. The technology benefits both parties by removing the need to return items that look different in reality to the image on a website.
Because of its reliance on ARKit, Amazon's AR View is only available on iOS devices at launch. To use it, you'll need an iPhone 6s or newer with iOS 11 installed. Amazon hasn't said whether it's working on something similar for Android devices or its desktop website. The company's understood to be exploring wider adoption of AR tech, eventually aiming to let you "try on" wearable items as you shop online.
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