3D app to 'change furniture shopping'

App to 'change how people shop for furniture'

CECILE MEIER
Last updated 05:00 14/10/2013
FurniView

COLOUR APPEAL: Adam Hutchinson, Samuel Williams, and Carl Watson from Christchurch startup Mogeo show their new app, FurniView, which superimposes a computer-generated 3D image of a piece of furniture on top of a real image.

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Adam Hutchinson wants to revolutionise the way we shop for furniture with his new app.

FurniView makes this green chair or that red sofa you are not quite sure would match your interior pop up in your living room.

Hutchinson's Christchurch startup Mogeo has nothing to do with magic. The items are projected into the room using a digital technology called augmented reality. The app superimposes a computer-generated 3D image of a piece of furniture on top of a real image, using a mobile phone or tablet camera.

Hutchinson is excited to launch the app this week with Christchurch shop Simply Furniture for a pilot.

"This is a unique homegrown app that has the potential to change how people shop for furniture," Hutchinson says.

"The cool thing is that it's been made right out of Christchurch, not Silicon Valley."

Hutchinsons says the app lets people visualise furniture in their home, rather than visiting multiple shops.

"There are some exciting statistics, like 34 per cent of people take longer than a month to decide on what piece of furniture they want to buy. So this aims to make it much easier."

The app is free to download, but Mogeo will charge furniture shops for each product they model in 3D.

The shops will then get a QR code that they can place in an advertisement, a catalog, or online.

Simply Furniture manager Kurt Scoringe says many customers already take pictures of items in the shop with their smartphone. The app will allow them to visualise the items even better in their own homes, he says.

"The 3D modelling is very effective and lets customers really see the product before or after they've come to the shop," he says.

Hutchinson says there is "real potential for fast growth" for his startup.

He says TradeMe also wants to do a pilot that would allow potential customers to scan their screen with an iphone or a tablet to make the piece of furniture appear in their living room.

To create the 3D model, Mogeo needs six pictures and the specifications of the item. He then sends the lot to Eastern Europe where another company creates the 3D model overnight.

Overseas furniture giant Ikea recently launched a similar app, but FurniView is the first of its kind in New Zealand, Hutchinson says.

Hutchinson says he and his two partners have invested private equity in the project and now have an investor on board as well. But the biggest investment was the 18 months it took for the three developpers to create the app.

Mogeo has developed other free apps in New Zealand, including the NZ Fishing Rules app (22,000 downloads) and CamperMate, which helps tourists travell- ing responsibly (14,000 down- loads).

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- The Press

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