Online shopping for furniture by Otto.

Augmented Reality is currently a very exciting topic in the furniture industry. The possibility of seeing furniture within one`s own four walls before purchase creates confidence and increases the likelihood of purchase. As so often, IKEA ist leading the way with the new Placement App. Just in time for the imm cologne, however, the well-known mail order company Otto is also scoring with three great applications.

Augmented Reality & Virtual Spatial Planning: Otto presents innovative shopping technologies.

A virtual rehearsal with the aid of augmented reality, high-resolution 360-degree panoramic images and a 3D room planner: at imm cologne, the world`s largest home and frunishing fair, Otto is presenting digital tools that make online furniture shopping more inspiring and convenient.

What does the sofa in my apartment look like? Does it really fit in the corner? Does it match the wall paint? When you shop for furniture on the internet, you have to trust the folding rule or just your blind instinct for some questions. Otto is now testing smart technologies to answer some of these questions. The apps are intended to bring together the online shopping world of and the customer`s offline living room. The market leader for online furniture trade brought three current prototypes and products to imm cologne: ann inspiring 360° room tool, the Otto HomeStyler for smart room planning and an augmented reality app for virtual rehearsal in the living room.

AR — the future of funishing: placing the new sofa directly in the living room.

The final decision to purchase furniture will make it easier for Otto`s augmented reality App, which the online retailer is showing exclusively for the time being at imm cologne for the first time. Otto is currently developing the app for smartphones and tablets inhouse on the basis of Apple`s ARKit technology.

Augmented reality means „extended reality“: the smartphone or tablet camera allows users to view their own four walls and then place virtual Otto furniture on a realistic scale in the room. AR applications have been around for some time — but only now are modern smartphones able to use intelligent software to calculate the dimensions of a room in Realtime, to recognize the floor as such and to display three-dimensional models true to scale in the room. In the virtual rehearsal, users can even take a closer look at the piece of furniture from all perspectives and convince themselves of the materials and appearance, while the smartphone calculates the position in the room.

Inspiration: 360° room tool instead of long product list.

Entire rooms are reconstructed in the classic furniture store. Online, on the other hand, customers still sometimes expect long product lists full of individual articles. With inspiring theme shops (e.g. Nordic Nature in Stockholm) Otto has long replaced the product list with attractively staged shop windows. The new 360° space tool opens up an even wider angle of vision.

Otto offers several inspiring themed rooms to start with, including: reduced designs in Danish style or a room with a botanical trend look. However, the scenes are not traditionally photographed from several perspectives, but rather taken as a picture of the spheres. As if he were in the center of the room, the user can look around the screen in any direction — even in virtual reality with the help of a smartphone cardboard. Small hotspots make the products in the room. With just a few wiping movements, users can view images and videos or add products directly to their shopping cart. The 360° room tool is already linked to Otto`s shopping system and will be supplemented by a large number of additional 360° panoramas in the future.

Spatial planning: Otto HomeStyler instead of scale sketches.

Found the right piece of furniture? Then the next question arises: How does it fit into the room? Otto is currently testing its new WebApp HomeStyler. It is a three-dimensional spatial planner that is already available in tablet and desktop versions. Its intelligent algorithm calculates the dimensions of a room — solely on the basis of a self-shot or prefabricated photo. 300 products from the Otto range appear without tiresome calculating and measuring the scale, can be rotated, moved, arranged. At the moment the HomeStyler is in test mode, customers can intersperse their feedback directly into the further development.

Try ou the Otto HomeStyler here:

Michael Heller: „Seizing the opportunities of Digitalization.“

„Otto is the market leader in the online furniture trade — thanks to our range and our superior logistics and consulting services, but also because we are best placed in Germany to exploit the opportunities offered by the digital world for our business. We are not only interested in placing products online in a shop, but also in making the shopping experience easier and more convenient for our customers with technology and smart tools. Our three new approaches, each in its own way, make a significant contribution to this,“ says Dr. Michael Heller, Otto`s Board Member for categories.