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Home furnishings chain extends its virtual commerce reach

Williams-Sonoma is making its 3D app more accessible.

The home furnishings chain launched the Pottery Barn 3D Room View augmented reality (AR) app on iOS for iPhone and iPad. The app is already available for Tango-enabled smartphones on Google Play.

The augmented reality app enables customers to virtually place life-sized, three-dimensional Pottery Barn products in a room, and make purchases directly through their device. Users can virtually stage products in an existing room or start from scratch with an empty room. All items can be moved around the room in real-time, or removed. Users can also change the color and size of merchandise, and all designs can be saved and shared via email.

Customers can enhance their virtual reality experience by scheduling a free design consultation with a Pottery Barn Design Crew expert who can assist with the design process and offer customized suggestions, according to the retailer.

“Our new Pottery Barn 3D Room View app for Pottery Barn puts the latest AR technology in the hands of our customers, and is a key example of how Williams-Sonoma is leveraging innovative technology to enhance customer experience and make the design process easy and fun,” said Felix Carbullido, chief marketing officer, Williams-Sonoma. “It’s also an opportunity to expand our Design Crew offering by giving our design experts a powerful tool to help customers see how Pottery Barn products will look and fit in their space.”

Williams-Sonoma joins a growing list of retailers, from Ikea to Wayfair and Houzz, that are adopting augmented reality to make the design process a digitally enabled, interactive experience. Target also joined these ranks in October, when it launched an augmented reality feature for home décor called “See It In Your Space.”

The expansion of the Pottery Barn 3D Room View app comes on the heels of Williams-Sonoma’s plan to purchase a 3-D imaging and augmented reality startup. The home furnishings retailer will acquire San Jose-based Outward, a company that specializes in replicating physical home furnishings and decor products in high-quality 3D imagery that can be used on retail websites and apps.

Williams-Sonoma will acquire Outward in an all cash deal of $112 million.
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