Assignment 3 Carla Sertin VR/AR furniture
By Carla Sertin
March 8, 2016
A VR furniture store where customers can view the items for sale without having to drive 100 kilometers to the closest IKEA and then spend 6 hours looking around, eating at the food court, and getting lost (all without knowing if the furniture will actually look good in their home!). The VR store pairs with an AR headset once the customer has selected an item, and they can project it into their house to see if it’s a good fit (you can also change the designs and patterns according to the available selection). It projects the items in full scale, so they fit as they would in reality. The store is designed for the GearVR, but as VR becomes more accessible it will be adapted for different technology.
Through my research, I found that a San Fransisco startup is trying to do something similar, but they have a limited collection of items (basic tables and shelves). Their store is also not in VR.
Angela’s family moved to a new city, and they needed new furniture.
Every day, they spent hours traveling far and wide from store to store, not sure what would fit well in their house.
Then one day, they discovered IKEA’s virtual reality store, which pairs with augmented reality headsets as well.
Because of that, they didn’t have to travel to find furniture.
Because of that, they were able to look through more designs in a faster period of time, using AR to project the furniture into their home to see if it was a good fit.
Until finally, they found the perfect furniture without doubting that it would look good in their house, and without wasting time driving from store to store.
They then wasted that saved time building the elaborate IKEA furniture.
User experience, interface, and workflow
The interface is meant to feel more natural than online shopping. The user begins by entering an apartment and goes into the room for which they want to buy furniture. If they want more generic options, they can switch to ‘item view,’ where items from all rooms are shown by type, like “chairs” that would go in the bedroom as well as kitchen chairs. Movement/interaction is gaze-oriented (this was designed with the GearVR in mind, as it is more accessible than the HTC Vive), but can also be controlled via the trackpad and button on the GearVR. Once the user chooses their items, they can export them to their AR headset and position them around the room. They can position more than one item in a session (so they can construct an entire living room, for example).
Note: the ‘apartment’ that they enter changes according to the styles they’ve chosen in the past — they’ll see an art deco apartment if they keep choosing furniture of that style. The furniture will be from IKEA, and will act as an advertisement/suggestion for customers. The apartment will be the same and have the same general layout, so customers aren’t trying to figure out a new interface every time they use the product.
The design is basic and should be easy to use for customers. The wireframe below shows the (very) elementary structure of the page. The directions will show for 10 seconds and then fade. The “Switch to item view” and cart icon are fixed and move with your gaze. It is a 360 video/still image, so the background and all items within are physically present and 3-dimensional.
Item view would be a list of all the items. Looking at a selected item (under its category) causes it to enlarge and slowly spin. Details come up as well.
Finally, this is my expressions website. It still has some bugs, but there’s some content on there, and I added the SEO plugin.