AR View is Amazon’s New Virtual Shopping Feature

Not to be left behind by the likes of IKEA and Target, Amazon is rolling out its new AR View feature today for iOS devices running Apple’s latest OS, iOS 11, and iPhones 6S or higher. The new feature will let customers choose from thousands of items available on Amazon’s web site and, using their smartphone’s camera, see how they would look in their own living space. It’s a neat feature and one that is becoming increasingly popular. What’s different in Amazon’s case is that it doesn’t limit product selection to bigger items like furniture – customer can visualize anything from ‘Toys and Games’ to ‘Electronics’. Other categories include ‘Home Décor’, ‘Living Room’, ‘Bedroom’ and ‘Kitchen’. I’m not sure that people really need to visualize a Tonka truck sitting in their living room though, but the ‘Toys and Games’ category could potentially be useful for larger items such as the Hot Wheels garage that I never should have bought my son last Christmas. Seriously, the thing is huge.

But back to Amazon. I like that the app offers categories because it makes it easier to navigate through relevant items. I can see myself visualizing how a large mixer will look on my kitchen counter and whether the beside lamps will match with my beside tables. This feature is most definitely better than what Amazon was offering before, namely its ‘AR Stickers’. They looked like a cartoon version of the items you selected and frankly, the white border around them made it almost impossible to get a really good idea of how the items would look in your home.

I am once again left with only one criticism regarding these blooming virtual shopping capabilities: when I buy furniture, especially whey I buy a couch I intend to sit on for long periods of time, I want to know whether or not it’s comfortable. A couch means nothing to me if it looks fantastic but isn’t a pleasure to sit on. In the case of retailers who have brick and mortar stores, one could argue that we could pay the store a visit to test the couch before buying it. In Amazon’s case, that could prove to be a little tricky.

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