Gelato Oak Brushed and Lacquered W96955 B 1

Featured

The rise of flooring visualiser technology

Here at Prodoto a big part of what we do involves shooting flooring for a range of brand name clients, and during National lockdown the same request is coming in from them all.

“We need consistent imagery for our visualiser tools"

We spoke to long term client Flooring Superstore about why introducing visualiser technology has been important for their business.

“The national lockdown prompted us to look at new ways of enhancing the customer experience and being able to bring our products virtually into people's homes, is just one of the ways in which we adapted.”

Jessica Fox

Senior Communications Executive at Flooring Superstore

When you are making changes to your home it is all very well being attracted by the aspirational lifestyle images on your flooring website of choice, but how will that look in your own room?

Flooring is a big ticket purchase, and most people worry that they may not be making the right choice.

This guesswork is what our clients are trying to resolve for their customers, using the power of technology and augmented reality tools.

It is now possible to try before you buy!

The relatively simple concept of choosing your desired flooring, and uploading an image of your own room to see the final effect, is backed up by 30 years of technology development.

Augmented Reality is an interactive experience where virtual information is overlaid on the real world. Using computer vision, mapping and depth tracking, objects can be placed into your environment and be viewed in 3D.

Initially invented in the early 1990’s and used by the US Airforce, AR was then taken up by the entertainment and gaming worlds, before being developed for a vast array of commercial applications that we use today.

Enhancing real environments and situations to offer enriched experiences is now a selling tool unlike any other.

At Flooring Superstore they are seeing unprecedented organic growth due to the success of their website, their growing number of bricks and mortar stores, and the DIY explosion that has been the impact of lockdown. With so many people spending a lot more time at home, improvements to our environments have become a higher priority.

Jess says

“We have no doubt the visualiser will have played a key role in the buying journey, as our customers are actively engaging with the tool.”

So, keen to try this out for myself, here is my soon to be renovated attic room. As you can see, the redecoration is much needed. Clearly the brown carpet has to go, but to be replaced with what?

I can't decide whether to go for carpet, or wood. Dark or light, pattern or plain?

And if it is wood, which way should I lay it!

The decisions are endless, and the choices enormous.

These are the very dilemmas that visualiser technology has solved. With just a few clicks, you can see exactly what your selections will look like, and all those fears of making a bad choice are a thing of the past.

It was pretty addictive too. I challenge you not to try out almost every floor, just because you can!

Light Carpet
Light Wood
Dark Patterned Carpet
Dark Wood
Dark Wood Lay 1
Dark Wood Lay 2

According to Shopify, interactions with products having AR or 3D content showed a 94% higher conversion rate than for products without these, so the benefit to retail both online and in bricks and mortar stores offering this service is clear.

In all this fun, where do Prodoto come in?

We provide the raw material, the flooring swatch image which is applied by the web application to give a realistic impression of your chosen flooring in-situ.

Sounds easy right? But actually these images need to be set up extremely accurately to ensure lighting is even, patterns are perfectly straight, in full repeat and the scale is consistent from one floor to the next.

Without this care, when the visualiser software tiles up the image to create the larger floor area, all you will see is a checkerboard effect of light and dark shading and wonky lines. Not what any customer is looking for to aid their decision making!

202589 Milton Cream
SIRONA WOOD DRYBACK

It is this consistency that makes the whole thing work, turning dreams and imagination into real images, and confident purchases.

So now I know what they all look like.... and I like several of them meaning there is still a decision to be made, but at least it can be an informed one.

KG
ARTICLE NOTES
Keri Gray
Head of Production