Trend is in the process of introducing a range of 3D Augmented Reality apps, all designed specifically for the furniture industry. We do of course recognise there are different areas to the £20bn UK furniture sector and we are gearing up what we have to offer across this space. We also recognise that our activities in furniture while different, are not unique. IKEA amongst others, is creating their own apps using their own interpretations of what the various AR platforms have to offer. Their product “Place” is accessible via their website.
Trend seeks to offer SMEs especially an opportunity to use AR, without the high level of skills and investment needed to follow their larger competitors, like IKEA. Essentially we can provide a service which includes an environment which will support sophisticated furniture models, also we can provide skilled modelling services at an affordable price so that our customers can take advantage of the capabilities AR has to offer. You can see details of these under WHY TREND (link) on this website.
The basic principles behind the apps we have to offer emanate from Augmented Reality environments created by the key players on the world stage, each of whom have made multi-£billion investments and continue to do so:
- Apple with its ARKit platform, was announced at WWDC in June 2017. AR experiences made with the platform work on any Apple mobile device that’s running iOS11 and powered by an A9, A10, or A11 chip.
- Google ARCore - the tech is more or less identical to Apple’s — surface detection, spatial orientation, and light estimation are all core to the functionality but it designed for Android. ARCore was announced at I/O in May, 2017. As of this article’s publish date, the platform runs on Android devices with the N OS or later, and for developer previews only works with the Google Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, and Samsung Galaxy S8.
- Facebook AR Studio is the only other credible AR platform but it is dramatically different from Apple or Google — and this makes sense. While GOOG/AAPL/FB all fall under the umbrella of “tech company,” Facebook is social-first. Their result is an integrated desktop application for developers to create augmented reality experiences for the Facebook camera that — here’s the kicker — are mostly front-facing. No surface detection (yet), no light estimation (yet), just a ton of features that make selfies more shareable.
Each of the above AR platforms provide the capability to offer a multiplicity of applications is areas ranging from computer games at one end to medical anatomical modelling at the other. Already there is the capability for example, to use an Excel spreadsheet in virtual spaces, using a computer keyboard but the screen appearing (using an AR headset) in virtual space. Indeed, other Microsoft products can function in this manner providing a myriad of uses including virtual operating instructions with video clips, for us in anything from medical operating theatres to central heating maintenance.
Trend AR apps are designed to be available on ARKit and ARCore, specifically for the furniture industry.