John Lewis to trial VR experience in shops

today Jun 10, 2019
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John Lewis & Partners is to trial a new virtual reality (VR) experience called ‘Visualise Your Space’ in three trial shops. Users will be able to view their designed room on iPad as a 3D room set in augmented reality or wear a VR headset to ‘walk around’ the room.  Afterwards customers will be emailed a copy of the room they created with shoppable links.

The trial will begin at John Lewis & Partners’ Kingston shop on June 26, in Cambridge on June 28, and in Horsham on July 2, John Lewis said. Although the trial is focused on furnishings, it's part of a tech wave that will also ultimately effect the fashion sector.

The customers will be able to put the dimensions, doors and windows of the room they want to update into an iPad via an app, and then drop in John Lewis products to see how their interior ideas would look in their home. They will also be able to change the colour of the walls and floors to create a complete look.

“Designing a new look for a room can be a lot of fun and a chance to express our personalities.  However, customers tell us that uncertainty about what new products will look like in their home can make the decision making hard, and in many cases people revert to the safer tones of grey or beige furnishings,” said Caitlin Price, John Lewis partner and head of buying for furniture and flooring. “This new technology will enable customers to be braver in their choices, and test technology that architects and interior designers have been using to visualise their designs.”

The technology has been developed by the US based, design and 3D visualisation company Marxent. “John Lewis understands how important inspiration is to modern furniture shoppers and has an impressive history of innovation. We’re proud to be partnering with them to test this technology in the UK,” said CEO and co-founder of Marxent, Beck Besecker.

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