Merging reality and the virtual world: app visualizes entire bathroom collections at home
The Villeroy & Boch Augmented Reality (AR) app for end consumers has been available in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store since the end of June 2013. The app is optimized for tablets and a version for smartphones will be available soon. It allows potential customers to preview the bath designer’s products in a real environment, e.g. their own bathrooms. The customer-oriented solution has been created by Stoll von Gáti of Crailsheim, Germany with the Metaio AR Technology. “Following the wholly positive feedback for the demonstration version of the AR app at the ISH Trade Fair in Frankfurt, we at Villeroy & Boch soon realized that we wanted to make this innovative form of product presentation available to our sales partners and customers,” says Gerald Bumann, Head of Communications, Bathroom and Wellness, at Villeroy & Boch. He will be presenting the Villeroy & Boch Augmented Reality App in October at InsideAR in Munich – the world’s greatest Augmented Reality conference.
The first step is to print out a so-called AR marker which is provided on the Villeroy & Boch website. The app, in conjunction with the marker, can project products virtually in the relevant space. Moreover, users can experiment in real time with various designs and colors, and then decide which bathroom sink or furnishing they like most. Displaying products virtually – and in their true dimensions – in customers’ real home environments gives a much better idea of their actual proportions. The ability to view the products in 3D and from all angles enhances the sense of realism, and should impact the likelihood of future purchases. “With the AR app we are blazing a brand new trail in the bath segment. We are extending the boundaries of the retail area while reducing long-term costs,” Bumann says. “The use of the app also generates added value during the selling process – for our dealers, installers, architects and salespeople alike. And our customers can experience their new bath at home in 3D before they make the purchasing decision.”
For a full two years now, Stoll von Gáti has been visualizing the bath manufacturer’s products virtually and three-dimensionally. “Accuracy and realism are guaranteed by directly importing the CAD data. As a result, the virtual photographs ensure consistent quality and a coherent style. What’s more, despite the fact that the digital 3D workflow provides heightened flexibility, overall production costs drop over time,” explains Dietrich Stoll, Managing Director of Stoll von Gáti GmbH. The new Joyce collection is a case in point. The 3D data was reused several times covering the entire spectrum of digital media: ranging from the creation of transparent product cut-outs for catalogs and brochures through to an interactive product configuration tool for the website, a cinema commercial and the augmented reality app.
Download the AR marker here