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Wayfair opens innovation lab, backs virtual reality

Online furniture retailer, Wayfair, has opened an innovation lab within its Boston headquarters.

Officially called the Wayfair Next Research and Development Laboratory, the space is designed to get more consumers shopping for furniture online. Wayfair Next is exploring 3D scanning techniques to digitise Wayfair’s catalogue to be used for augmented reality, virtual reality and 2D rendering.

Wayfair Next is also building its own augmented reality app for Google Tango, which allows users to see how pieces of furniture and décor will look and fit in their homes through the display on a smartphone. Wayfair has also developed a virtual reality experience.

“Virtual reality and augmented reality will enable shoppers to bring their home décor ideas to life before they even make a purchase,” said Steve Conine, co-chairman and co-founder, Wayfair.

“We look forward to rolling out solutions we believe will make e-commerce a preferred method for purchasing home furnishings, and inspiring and educating the community about the potential of these visualisation technologies in the home space.”

Wayfair is taking its new technologies on the road, hosting demos of the VR and AR experiences at a variety of industry trade shows throughout the year.


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