MEET OUR CODE_N CONTEST FINALISTS 2018: RoomAR from Germany
Augmented reality is truly fascinating! By combining it with artificial intelligence, the team behind RoomAR managed to scale its full potential. The CODE_n CONTEST Finalist developed a mobile app that is your personal interior designer! The AI engine brings AR to life and enables users to visualize furniture in their own home. In our interview with founder and CEO, Naimah Schütter, we learn how RoomAR makes appropriate product recommendations and matches taste, colors and style to the user – that’s you!
Jessica: What is RoomAR all about?
Naimah: At RoomAR it’s all about beyond-reality experiences. RoomAR is a mobile app that allows users to visualize furniture and get individual recommendations based on their actual living situation. RoomAR can be used by B2B/sales representatives at the point of sale to showcase all kinds of product configurations. RoomAR can also be used by B2C/end consumers at home and is a great help for anyone wondering what furniture would actually look like in their own apartment.
From a technology perspective, our sweet spot is a combination of augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI). AR helps to visualize the furniture, but the real magic happens in the AI engine. Our AI engine contains several image recognition algorithms. RoomAR understands the user’s room like a digital interior designer and makes appropriate product recommendations, matching taste, colors, and style. A deep understanding is gained of user preferences, and this is reflected in aggregated data analytics which goes back to B2B.
We believe we are ahead of the competition because we’re building a unique AI engine by involving computer vision experts and basing developments on the latest research and technology, with a focus on unique data sources. Our AI engine brings AR to life by pushing meaningful and individual content to the user. It engages users and facilitates interaction, and this fuels customer retention and accelerates sales.
We have a scalable cloud-based infrastructure, and this can be used to develop applications for any product and offer solutions to B2B customers in various segments of retailing.
Jessica: How did you come up with the idea?
Naimah: It came from a problem we’d encountered first hand. We needed new furniture but found the current shopping experience was inconvenient. We’ve been working in tech, so what else could we do? We soon realized that augmented reality is fascinating – but it needs AI to scale its full potential.
AR can display all kinds of information and products, but only artificial intelligence can deliver valuable and meaningful content. Purchasing furniture is a good example of this: Visualizing furniture using AR needs the right AI to come up with new suggestions. A gamified, interactive approach is really entertaining. So our AI engine locks people in and accelerates sales. That’s what we mean when we say we’re working on the next dimension of retailing.
Jessica: What are you trying to solve?
Naimah: We’re solving an everyday problem. No matter where you look online or offline it’s really difficult to imagine what furniture will actually look like in your own home. Then there’s the fact that you don’t get individual recommendations or inspiration, something that matches your personal style. This makes you feel insecure about what to buy. The buying process takes a long time and in the worst case scenario, customers don’t buy at all. Another factor is that the furniture industry is really struggling with digitalization. The industry is crying out for some innovative touchpoints or opportunities to benefit from the huge growth rates being witnessed in the online furniture market.
Jessica: To which types of industries can your AI/AR-based application bring value? And what challenges are you currently facing?
Naimah: The AI-powered AR technology we’re building delivers substantial value to retailing and advertising:
- Accelerated sales: once you see it you want it
- Higher retention rates by offering a fun and entertaining solution
- Access to new target groups
- Different ways to discover products and brands
- Increased online sales
- Data-based insights into user preferences and shopping behavior
- Bleeding edge and leading edge technology, engineered to work together to enter the next dimension of retailing
Jessica: Thank you for the interview, Naimah!