Virtual Staging, a new way to see the products!

In this project focus we will go over the work achieved by two Lab 42 projects: Virtual Staging that will deliver augmented reality experience to members and Augmented Capture focus on generating the necessary 3d model.The team on the Augmented Capture project was composed of Pierre Avisse, Melvin Moustaid, Franklin Tabaries and Quentin Archer. The team behind the Virtual Staging project was Francois Maury, Geoffrey Gane and Martin Sireau.

What is augmented reality ?

Augmented Reality is an interactive experience of a real-world environment whereby the objects that reside in the real-world are “augmented” by computer-generated perceptual information, apply to e-commerce the goal is to integrate virtual 3d products inside the real-world. No more suspense in the sequence below you will see the result of Virtual Staging on iOS platform.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtpbwjdHwVo[/embed]
 

So… why Virtual Staging ?

Do you know that 70% of vp members gives up the process of buying big furniture, mainly because they will not take the risk of investing a significant amount of money in a product that they may regret? The other big problem is that many people who buy this type of furniture send it back because it is not suitable for their interior or because it is not the right size. That’s why the Home/Deco B2C department collaborated with the Lab 42 to provide this new way of presenting their products.

With this application you’ll be able to try the furniture in the vente-privee app using your phone in your house and keeping the real products dimensions. For now we did it for only big furnitures like couch, bed, chair… But it’s exactly the same process for small items too.

The output of this project was a Swift framework for the iOS devices which exploits SceneKit and ARKit.

Scenekit is a 3D graphics framework that helps you create 3D animated scenes and effects in your apps.

ARKit is a SDK for developers working on virtual reality and augmented reality applications. With this SDK, create augmented reality experiences users don’t need any external equipment.

  [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="750"] PS: the red chair is a fake one ;)[/caption]

Ok but how we get the 3d model essential to augmented reality ?

We explored multiple scenarios, some brand already have the 3d models of their products because they prototype their new collections this way, so why not take advantage of it ? The second solution is to rely on startup services that could provide 3d shapes as Augment or Innersense are doing. The last solution is to capitalize on the vp shooting expertise to make the 3d acquisition in our studios.

How to automate the 3d acquisition of tangible products ?

Last year we explore two ways to recreate the models from physical object, first was the 3d scan using infrared cameras. Using Intel SR 300 we achieve this kind of result:

  [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="1600"] This process is really fast (few seconds) but it was not photorealistic so we decide to explore another technique: the photogrammetry.[/caption]

What is Photogrammetry ?

Photogrammetry estimating the three-dimensional coordinates of points on an object employing measurements made in two or more photographic images taken from different positions. This techniques has emerge in the mid-19th century and such as E. Moore conjectured it the computing power has increased in the meantime and so the processing time and precision of this technique is now far more accurate.

There is multiple commercial solutions on the market: RealityCapturePhotoScanAutodesk Recap In the open source ecosystem the main solutions was last year OpenMVG but this year thanks to the great work of the community Meshroom with AliceVision are really good candidates.

You can easily find comparisons of these different softwares on the net, but worse mentioned commercial solutions delivered perpetual licensed at very good prices.

  [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="513"] Here is a sample reconstructed using AliceVision[/caption]
  [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="616"] Here is the result we achieved using Photoscan (click here to see the 3d rendering)[/caption]

So our main goal was to industrialise it using a Fotorobot set, which are already used in vente-privée studios. It allow us to take multiple shots with different point of view, and this can be automated by creating scenarios.

Business opportunity

AR technology reached worldwide recognition after the launch of the popular mobile game Pokémon GO, one of the world’s leading gaming app titles. AR technology is used by Amazon, Ikea and across numerous industries such as: healthcare, public safety, gas and oil, tourism, marketing etc. Everyone from tourists to soldiers to someone looking for the closest subway stop is able to benefit from this ability to place computer-generated graphics in ones field of vision. In a e-commerce context Shopify also launch recently their AR experiences.

According to P&S Market Research the demand for AR & VR in the Retail & E-Commerce Sectors is Soaring. The Global Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) Market is Forecast to Reach $94.4 Billion by 2023 According to IDC the Worldwide Spending on Augmented and Virtual Reality to Achieve a Five-Year CAGR of 71.6% by 2022

Conclusion

We demonstrate through this work that augmented reality is now within everyone’s reach thanks to the release of ARKit and ARCore. The only barrier was on the acquisition of the 3d models that are now way easier thanks to the huge work of the community. Definitely immersive experiences will be more and more present, this will facilitate consumer choice giving them a new way to discover products

Source IDC Source P&S Market Research

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