So I went to work on this but completely went AWOL on the blog posts. Choice? no.
Regardless of the matter – you are lucky enough to be reading a 3-in-1 special blog post, so count yourself lucky whoever you are out there!
So why did I start my project and how did I get the idea? well…
It All Started With A Job Application:
I’ve recently moved into a new role in my career and it’s safe to say I am COMPLETELY IN LOVE with the role! I have noticed a bunch of elements in the digital space of the business that I am challenging myself to take on and update, resolve or completely replace. This particular part of the business is a rather important element which allows users to “try before they buy”, and this is all to gain a strong understanding that a consumer is engaged and has a motive to install our product. To cut to the chase and not head into complete specifics, (sensitive business content) this part of the website attracts almost 20,000+ visitors and 17,000+ of these visitors are unique, (meaning they have come across this part of the website for the first time) which are some pretty amazing numbers.
However, conversion rates of this area are quite distorted, not accounting for any sales or follow through with a customer.
The system is quite expensive to produce and is almost well behind trend and technology – so the aim is to produce something of a higher quality, which can be easily accessible by any smart device in the most innovative and intuitive way I can possibly think of.
Visualise your newly furnished home through Augmented Reality:
Imagine holding your own smart device so flippantly in front of you, pursuing to use it as a gateway into another realm, modifying & altering anything and everything!
Behind the screen you are consistently playing the game of “God”, a creator of a world – almost The Sims-like, where you are able to rotate, build and place any object or “virtually physical” in the space within the screen
My journey into the realm of Augmented Reality has been one of many obstacles including:
- Using the many iOS apps available on the market
- Clearly identifying their similar traits
- Understanding which apps represent Augmented Reality better than others
- Understanding how they work & what they need in-order to function
- Understanding the many barriers in planning to develop an app like this
I have come up with a range of various apps that work, similarly to the way I desire the Visualiser app to operate.
1. Villeroy & Boch & Ikea Augmented Reality: Both equally amazing apps which uses the simple, “marker hologram/feature content market” placed on a flat surface, to allow the smart device to summon the visual object in a 3D Augmented Reality. The application takes product visualisation to new heights, allowing the smart device to view the object up close, from afar, various angles almost urging the user to begin washing their hands in sink within the screen.
However, as we all understand, applications will always have a limited ability, and don’t always allow what we want them to do – Adrian Mackenzie classes this as ‘margin of inter-determinacy’, where technology neither belongs solely to human life nor belongs to some intrinsic dynamism of technology – Chesher relates this to the constraints in the domains of possibility. The keyboard only offers a limited number of characters, but this still leaves open an enormous set of things that may be typed – however an application is much more complex than a keyboard, it opens a world of imagination; a world where BETA testing, continuous updates and wandering minds who WANT MORE are prevalent.
This is is where Villeroy & Boch & Ikea’s application “semi-fail” – the user is bound to the screen, and not able to do anything beyond their means in order to modify or alter the application in anyway they seem fit. Rather the application itself has been under review and stress from users, that the application developers tend to iron out all the kinks gradually, and always strive to be further ahead of the users intuitive and challenging mind.
Ikea 2016 Catalogue: Augemented Reality
The Ultimate Interior Design Application:
Homestyler Interior Designer by Autodesk: Allowing users to take photos of their own spaces and modify them accordingly. You are able to remove your current furniture with the app, and set it as a blank room with blank walls. The application allows you to set the height of your room, and automatically determines the depth and width, based on the markers you place within the app. This allows any additional furniture you place into the room to be placed, sized and rotated in a 1:1 scale. The massive downside to this application is it only works on a Single Capture Image, and not a video or Live Augmented Reality – therefore, the Augmented Reality is surface layer and does not delve deeper into the user playing in a “God” like manner – moving, altering & modifying the space in real-time.
The aim of my app development is to create the guidelines that surround combining all three applications into one, creating the Ultimate Interior Design Application, allowing the user to ‘modifying, design, and alter their own homes in real-time through augmented reality’. The task seems fairly straightforward from a surface – simply use these existing systems, only altering their code and abilities to work with one another. However, it is a large challenge.
The aim for my major task is to create a Digital Artefact, which will be a Developers Guidelines of the Visualiser Application. The Developers Guidelines will include the Graphical User Interface, key functions, UX Design, & basic knowledge how the application should work from a logistical sense, rather than a coded knowledge.
Really hoping to finish off the final section of the Developers Guidelines within the week, however it is continually becoming a lot more difficult to take a visual, logistic common sense approach to the applications functions, and then relating to a coded knowledge for the developer. Will have to iron out these issues and speak with a developer to overcome any barriers I may have.
Overall this experience has been enlightening, and I am really hoping we can get an amazing prototype to function within the next couple of months.