Pottery Barn launches AR app for iOS
Williams-Sonoma has announced the launch of the iOS version of Pottery Barn's augmented reality app, 3D Room View, which allows users to virtually place life-sized, three-dimensional Pottery Barn products in a room, save and share room designs, and connect through the app to shop, according to a Williams-Sonoma press release.
The app lets customers see over 1,500 products, which, for now, will focus on living room furniture like sofas, sectionals, chairs, coffee and side tables, and rugs and lamps. The company plans to add additional product categories in the coming months, according to the release.
The launch of the iOS app comes about eight months after the launch of Pottery Barn's 3D Room View for Android mobile devices supporting Google's Tango augmented reality technology.
The launch of the iOS version of an app that has already been on the market for eight months might not seem like a big deal, and the app itself might not be much different than the one that launched back in March, but there is one big difference that can't be debated. The iOS app can be used on a vast range of iOS devices, including several iPhone models, whereas the earlier version of the 3D Room View could only be used on Android phones supporting Tango, a list which still consists of only a few device models.
In a sense, then, this launch represents the expansion of Pottery Barn's AR app from fairly limited, almost testbed-like availability to mainstream market exposure. It's probably the appropriate time for that kind of expansion, as many more AR apps have been launched by other retailers in recent months, most of them thanks to Apple's ARkit for iOS devices. Consumers are becoming more familiar with AR in general and may soon come to anticipate the ability to use AR to enhance the shopping process, especially on mobile.
They aren't there quite yet, though — in fact, only 20% of shoppers are even aware of augmented reality capabilities — and for now, retailers are still sizing up how to promote AR tools, and how best to integrate them into the broader shopping process. In the case of Pottery Barn, the AR app is meant to feed into a broader kind of customer engagement, by not only offering purchasing capabilities, but also by connecting app users with design consultants.
By adding iOS compatibility, the app could reach millions of other devices, and the move also puts Pottery Barn more in line with other retailers' AR efforts.