When Apple brought augmented reality into the mainstream in 2017, it mostly excited mobile gamers. In the weeks and months to follow, however, it became clear that AR was about much more than casual smartphone entertainment.
Augmented Reality is Going to Change How You Organize Your Home
As you might remember, the first real example of AR on smartphones came in the form of Pokémon GO. It was an awesome, original game that made use of our phones’ cameras and screens to create an experience like we’d never really seen before.
In case you never played (though it seems most everyone did), it worked like this: you encountered a Pokémon out and about in the real world, pointed your phone’s camera at that Pokémon, and saw it as if it was actually sitting there on the sidewalk, or in your yard, or wherever else. There’s more to it than that, but that was the basic concept of the AR aspect of the game.
Pokémon GO actually happened in 2016. But it was in 2017 that Apple one-upped it by introducing an AR design platform that would work for any app developers who wanted to use it. One of the first apps that emerged, as a result, was Stack AR.
This was just an updated version of an existing mobile game, but it made it look like the game was playing out in real physical space, the same way you could see Pokémon on your sidewalk. It was called a brilliant showcase of how even a simple adaptation could work beautifully in AR – and, inevitably, it got people thinking.
Some suggested that strategy games would now be played out as if on actual tabletops (and a few early examples even came out). A lot of people predicted that card games and board games would be released, and for that matter, casino activity could have a new opportunity as well.
3D games have already been among the possibilities explored by the industry’s leading creative thinkers, and could quickly and easily be translated to mobile Augmented Reality. The possibilities go on and on. But as I said before, they also happen to go well beyond gaming. In fact, they specifically involve home design.
Augmented Reality App for Interior Design
Design and furniture companies were pretty quick to recognize that if Pokémon could be projected via smartphone as if they actually existed in real space, the same thing could probably be done with furniture. Well, it’s not clear this was the exact thought process, but you get the idea.
These companies were among the first that were completely unrelated to gaming or entertainment that took advantages of Apple’s AR development platform – and at least a few of them did so right off the bat.
The first major example was IKEA Place, an app by (you guessed it) IKEA. The app creates lifelike pictures of furniture in your home. That’s to say, it doesn’t just allow you to simulate a floor plan or sift through furniture items in generic settings on a website.
It actually allows you to aim your camera and look through your screen at a room in your home, complete with a 3D projection of whatever piece of furniture you’re looking at. If it sounds simple, it is – but it’s also revolutionary for the very concepts of home design and organization.
Basically, Apple, mobile developers, and companies like IKEA are saving us the hassle of ever having to buy furniture just to try it out again. We can now look at virtually unlimited options and see exactly what they’d look like in our homes, and then make our purchases accordingly. It’s actually more exciting than catching a Pokémon or stacking tiles or playing a 3D slot or casino game through a phone. It has a real impact on your day-to-day life.
And again, IKEA Place was just the first example. There have since been additional apps that perform similar functions, but also some focused more specifically on the organization (without a retail angle). For instance, through a new AR app, you can actually measure edges and spaces in your house, effectively creating your own accurately measured floor plan without ever touching a ruler.
Combine that with some of the furniture placement apps, and you can effectively organize and design your whole home furnishing and decorating plan with your phone.
The best part: we’re only just getting started. Apple debuted its AR (Augmented Reality) platform (which Google basically has also) less than a year ago. Developers are only going to refine and expand upon these types of apps, to the point that home organization and design will probably be revolutionized completely.