Amazon has paired up with Apple ARKit to add a new Augmented Reality (AR) feature to its app, allowing customers to virtually place, overlay, move and rotate items in their household, before purchasing them.
Amazon is not the first household name to take on AR or partner with the brand-new Apple ARKit. Both Ikea and Target have released their own versions of AR on their brand apps, to mixed reviews and success.
Ikea faced criticism from users who wanted a search function, a button to filter products, improved area mapping and tracking and global availability. However, both Ikea and Apple have released the app’s AR feature one day before the release of the new iOS 11 and have not announced any plans for further development.
Likewise, Target followed suit in attempt to clone Ikea’s AR furniture placement. However, the app was met by overall negative reviews from critics, who tested the app and found the user interface to be clunky. The Target AR app does not render the item to scale, unlike Ikea, and all items need to be twisted or angled manually. This makes the process of ‘seeing’ what an item might look like more an estimation as opposed to a fully formed virtual placement.
Amazon has built on the progress and criticism of both Ikea and Target, and produced an optimised version to already rave reviews.
Fitted with a live camera view mode, customers can see how items will look and fit in real time. The feature is called AR View and can be launched through the Amazon app on your mobile device. By simply tapping the camera icon in the search bar, you can choose ‘AR View’ and select a product of your choice.
Similar to other touch screen movements, you can use one finger to mouse and item and two fingers to rotate.
Click this link to see how it works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhdOzpblrm0
The AR View feature is available on iPhone 6S devices and higher, running iOS 11.
Although Amazon has previously dabbled in AR with stickers, this is the first time any major retailer has pressed forward with AR implementations. Given that the app is targeted to ‘difficult items to buy online’, like furniture and household items, this new feature brings an entirely new level of customer service to the forefront of marketing.
Augmented Reality has the potential to change consumer behaviour from physical spaces to virtual realities in both ‘retailor finished rooms’ as well as the customer’s own personal rooms. This latest AR feature means that Amazon now has a number of ways for customers to shop beyond AR, including ‘Interesting Finds’, real-word ‘Treasure Trucks’ and through physical stores and shops.
What do you think of Amazon’s new AR feature?