18. January 2018 | Hamburg, Cologne

Augmented Reality & virtual room planning – OTTO presents innovative shopping technologies

A virtual try-out with the aid of Augmented Reality, high-resolution 360° panorama images, and a 3D room planner – at imm cologne, the world’s biggest interior furnishings trade fair, OTTO presents digital tools that make online furniture shopping more inspirational and convenient

How will that sofa look in my living room? Will it really fit in the corner? Will it match the colour of the wall? In some cases, Internet shoppers need to trust the manufacturer’s measuring tape – or simply their own gut feeling. OTTO is now testing smart technologies to address some of these issues. The apps are intended to merge the online shopping universe of otto.de with the customer’s offline living room. The leader in online furniture retail is showcasing no less than three current prototypes and products at this year’s imm cologne: an inspiring 360° room tool, the OTTO HomeStyler for smart room planning, and an Augmented Reality app for the virtual try-out in the customer’s living room.

AR – the future of furnishing: try out the new sofa directly in your living room

OTTO’s Augmented Reality (‘AR’) app is intended to make the final furniture-buying decision easier, and the online retailer is showcasing this at the imm cologne for the first time. OTTO is currently developing the app for smartphones and tablets in-house based on Apple’s AR kit technology.

Augmented Reality lets users view their own four walls via their smartphone’s or tablet’s camera, and then place virtual, realistically scaled OTTO furniture in the room. AR applications have been around for a while, but only now thanks to modern smartphones and intelligent software are they able to measure a room’s dimensions in real time, recognise a floor as a floor, and depict 3D furniture models true to scale in a room. In the virtual tryout, users can even examine a piece of furniture from all angles and decide on the materials and look they want, while the smartphone calculates just the right position in the room.

Inspiration: 360° room-planner tool replaces long product lists

Traditional furniture stores reconstruct entire rooms to inspire customers. Online, however, so far this has meant long product lists of individual articles. OTTO did away with the product list some time ago, providing attractively staged virtual store windows with its inspiring theme-based online shops (e.g. Nordic Nature in Stockholm). The new 360° OTTO room-planner tool now broadens this perspective even further.

At the launch OTTO is offering several inspirational themed rooms including Danish-style minimalist design, and a room in an on-trend botanical look. However, the room scenes are not shot as usual from several perspectives but as a whole with a 360° spherical lens. Users can view the room in all directions with their smart device, as if they were standing right in the middle of the room – and with a Cardboard smartphone, even as Virtual Reality. Small hotspots mark the products standing in the room; with just a few swipes users can view images and videos, or place products directly in the shopping cart. The 360° tool is already linked with OTTO’s online shopping systems and will greatly expand the options for online product presentations in future.Try out the OTTO room-planner tool here, or watch this video:

Room planning: OTTO HomeStyler replaces sketch-to-scale

Just found the perfect piece of furniture? Now comes the next question: will it suit the room? OTTO is currently testing HomeStyler, its new Web app. This is a 3D room-planner and is already available for tablets and desktops. Its intelligent algorithm calculates a room’s dimensions – based simply on a self-shot or pre-produced photo. 300 products from the OTTO assortment appear in the virtual tool without wearisome number-crunching or fiddly measuring tape, and can be rotated, moved and otherwise arranged. HomeStyler is currently in test mode and customers are invited to contribute their feedback on it directly to the further development process. Try out the OTTO HomeStyler for yourself directly here!

HomeStyler OTTOzoom

Dr Michael Heller: "Leveraging the opportunities of digitalisation"

“OTTO is market leader in online furniture retail, thanks to our assortment, our superior logistics and our customer advice services – but also because in Germany we are the best at leveraging the opportunities of the digital age for our business. We are not only concerned with placing products in an online shop, but also with making our customers’ shopping experience more convenient and simpler through applied technology and smart tools. Our three new approaches make a major contribution to this, each in their own way”, says Dr Michael Heller, Member of the OTTO Management Board for Categories.

AR-Shopping bei otto.de
AR-Shopping @ otto.de
Want to shop for furniture more comfortably? Want to be inspired? Use OTTO's new technology - like an AR-application or 360-degree-panoramas.
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Augmented Reality App OTTO
Augmented Reality App OTTO
Want to shop for furniture more comfortably? Want to be inspired? Use OTTO's new technology - like an AR-application or 360-degree-panoramas.
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Augmented Reality App auf der IMM18
Augmented Reality App auf der IMM18
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Dr. Michael Heller
Dr. Michael Heller
Member of the OTTO Management Board for Categories (Foto: © Andra Müller-Schulz)
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