Online furniture retailer Urban Ladder has launched an augmented reality app called Living Spaces. The app is currently available for Android and iOS and can be downloaded on both mobiles and tablets. Urban Ladder had first announced that it was working on Living Spaces as part of its UL Labs initiative, in August this year.
The app lets users virtually place sofas anywhere using the smartphone’s camera, providing an augmented reality experience. The sofas are available in multiple colours and seating options. The company said it plans to add other features like putting in a silhouette and ambient lighting.
Using the app: The app is a pretty large download at 40mb, and took a couple of tries to start on my old tablet, throwing up errors on the first couple of tries. On starting up, the app offers six sofa sets to choose from and on selecting one, powers up the device’s camera to overlay the selected item in the surroundings. The sofa pieces can be moved around, rotated, rearranged and resized to see how it looks in different places of the user’s room. Five of the sofa pieces offer 12 color choices, while one of them offers 3. Each item in the sofa set can also be individually placed, without having to overlay the whole set.
Overall, using the app was a pleasant experience, although it does lack when giving the user a size perspective. You have no idea how big the sofa is actually going to be, and although the app gives sofa dimensions, it has no way to tell how ‘near’ the user is to the projected object.
Urban Ladder partnered with the Bangalore based startups, Whodat and House of Blue Beans to develop this app. According to the company it researched into sofa buying patterns and takes into account imperfections of the real world, like wrinkled cushions and fabric foldings at the edge. However this was not apparent when viewing the app, at least not to me.
UL Labs: Through the UL Labs initiative, Urban Ladder works with digital startups from around the globe, to develop solutions in various aspects of furniture buying. Earlier this year, the company had released the wardrobe configurator app Urban Storage as part of this initiative. The app lets users choose different models, configurations, designs and finishes of a wardrobe and check the pricing relevant to their configuration. The app is available on Android and iOS.
The company had also introduced an initiative called ‘Trial Room’ where users can apparently get up to 3 single seaters delivered to their home to try. This service is currently available for free, although it seems to usually cost Rs 499.