Build.com, a Ferguson Enterprises company and the largest online-only home improvement retailer, recently launched a new augmented reality (AR) in-app experience, “In-Home Preview,” leveraging Apple’s new ARKit development platform.
This technology takes users beyond just visualizing how a product will look in their home - they can interact with it by turning the faucet on or off, adjusting the temperature or moving the handles, Build.com noted. Users also can experiment with water flow and spray patterns.
The online retailer added realistic details such as steaming hot water bring the experience to life. Lighting fixtures can be rotated 360 degrees, moved up and down by adjusting chain or downrod lengths and switched on to show how they illuminate a room. Customers can easily view available finishes to find the perfect match for their décor, it added. The immersive experience currently includes products from Delta Faucet, Kichler, Hansgrohe, Progress Lighting, Miseno and Park Harbor.
“Customers have always told us how important it is to ‘touch and feel’ products before making a purchase. Now, we have a way to bridge that physical world with the digital,” said Dan Davis, Build.com’s chief technology officer. “Our website offers more than 800,000 products and we are aiming to have more than one-thousand available in the ‘In-Home Preview’ feature.”
This foray into e-commerce AR delivers on the consumer’s desire for more interactivity, with 58% of consumers noting they want to use AR to see how products will look before purchasing them, according to Business Insider.
The Build.com app is available today for iPhone and iPad on the Apple App Store, and the “In-Home Preview” AR feature can be experienced on devices running iOS 11 (iPhone 6s,/6s Plus and later, and all iPad Pro generations since 2015 as well as the new iPad, 5th generation).
Build.com will be expanding available products for ‘In-Home Preview’ for iOS and also is considering an Android version using the new AR Core technology.