Wayfair’s Android app now lets you shop for furniture using augmented reality

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AR-enabled shopping is expanding again today. This time, online furniture retailer Wayfair is introducing an augmented reality feature in its mobile app for Android that will allow customers to visualize furniture in their own home ahead of purchase, just by holding up their smartphone.

The feature, called “View in Room 3D,” was previously available on iOS, leveraging Apple’s AR platform ARKit.

Now, Wayfair is taking advantage of Google’s ARCore to offer the same option to Android users.

ARCore, Google’s answer to Apple’s AR platform, was publicly released last month, giving developers a way to integrate AR technology into their Android applications, where they can reach a potential audience of over 100 million Android devices.

Wayfair is not the only shopping site to quickly roll out ARCore support now that it’s available – eBay yesterday launched a feature for sellers that helps them find the right shipping box using AR technology, and promised other AR-enabled features this year. IKEA also just released an Android version of its AR app IKEA Place this week.

Other retailers have been experimenting with AR, as well, including Amazon and Target.

Retailers’ interest in AR is not just because it’s new and trendy – it can help them address the real issue that online shoppers face, when trying to buy furniture from a website, instead of in person.

It’s often difficult for non-designers to really get a sense of what a piece of furniture will look like when placed in the room. Will the new sofa go well with the existing curtains, carpet, and other furniture? Will it fit in the space?

Wayfair’s app helps with those questions, as it projects the furniture or décor in 3D at full-scale, and anchors them to the floor. This lets shoppers see if the object in question fits in the room – without needing to break out their measuring tape. It also helps them get a visual sense of what the room will look like with the new furniture added.

And because the image is in 3D, you can walk around it to see it from different sides – which also helps with consumers’ buying decisions.

“Leveraging augmented reality, the Wayfair app allows shoppers to transform their homes into virtual showrooms, allowing them to see their favorite products up close and at every angle – all in their very own space,” said Steve Conine, co-founder and co-chairman, Wayfair, in statement about the AR feature’s release.

“We knew early on that augmented reality had the potential to completely transform the way people shop for their homes, and as it’s quickly moved toward mainstream adoption, we’re excited to have played an integral role in shaping the experience for millions of shoppers,” he added.

Furniture has been one of the more difficult businesses to transition online, not only because of shipping costs for heavy items, but also because consumers still often want to see the products in real life. They want to touch the fabric, try out a chair’s cushions for comfort, and see the true colors – not just an online photo.

But things are changing, as more commerce shifts online – the channel that’s prefered by millennial shoppers, who are now the largest demographic (37%) of the furniture-buying market.

Wayfair is one of the companies capitalizing on this shift, to the tune of $ 4.7 billion in net revenue in 2017.

And with the elimination of the furniture showroom, it’s also been quick to jump on new technologies to help its customers better shop, including web-based clipboardsvisual search, mobile messaging, and now, AR – all which give it a competitive advantage versus traditional retailers with more static sites.

The company also recently updated the AR feature in the iOS app that lets customers now record a video of the item in AR, instead of just taking a photo. This feature has a Snapchat-like feel, as you just press and hold the record button to make the recording. You can then walk around the furniture in the video, in order to capture it in 3D then share with friends and family.

This feature will arrive in the Android version soon, we understand.

In the meantime, the Wayfair app for Android is available here.

Mobile – TechCrunch

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MIT’s robot carpenters will saw wood for you, but you have to make the furniture yourself

Researchers from MIT have created a new system of robot-assisted carpentry that they say could make the creation of custom furniture and fittings safer, easier, and cheaper.

The system is made up of two parts: design software and semi-autonomous robots. Users select a template from the software (like a chair, table, or shed) and then adjust it to their liking, tweaking the size and shape. This order is then turned into instructions for the robots, which autonomously pick up and saw the necessary materials to the correct size. And it’s then up to the user to put the finished product together.

At the moment, the whole process is pretty basic, and involves a lot of human oversight and instruction. There are only four design templates to…

Continue reading…

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MIT’s robotic carpenters take the hassle out of custom furniture

If you want to build custom furniture, you usually need to know your way around a saw and devote days to both designing it and cutting every last piece. MIT's CSAIL might have a better solution: let computers and robots do the hard work. Its research…
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Google Home Max May Damage Your Furniture As Well Just Like HomePod And Sonos One

According to new tests, Google Home Max is prone to damaging your newly polished furniture just like HomePod and Sonos One. Here’s what you need to know.

[ Continue reading this over at RedmondPie.com ]

Redmond Pie

Apple HomePod may leave white rings on some wood furniture

Apple HomePod white rings wood furniture

The HomePod is now available to the public and blasting tunes in owners’ homes, but Apple’s device is doing more to peoples’ homes than just filling them with music.

Some Apple HomePod owners have found that the smart speaker can leave a white ring on wood furniture. The Wirecutter discovered in its HomePod review that the device left a white ring on both an oiled butcher block countertop as well as a wooden side table. Owners on Twitter have noticed the issue, too.

When asked about the white rings, Apple confirmed the problem and said that “the markets can improve over several days after the speaker is removed from the wood surface.” If the rings don’t go away on their own, Apple suggests that users “try cleaning the surface with the manufacturer’s suggested oiling method.”

This is a weird issue that could be serious if HomePod ends up damaging expensive wooden furniture. It’s kind of a weird problem for the HomePod to have since we haven’t heard any other smart speakers running into the same issue, and it’ll be interesting to see what exactly is causing these white rings to appear.

HomePod owners, have you noticed any white rings on your furniture?

PhoneDog.com – Latest videos, reviews, articles, news and posts

Has the HomePod left a ‘white ring’ on any of your furniture? [Poll]

HomePod is making its mark on early adopters. Earlier this week, it was discovered that Apple’s HomePod can leave a white ring on certain wood finished furniture. While it’s unclear how widespread the issue is, Apple did acknowledge it a support document, saying that it is not unusual for “vibration-dampening silicone” to leave marks.

We’re curious: Have you noticed the HomePod leaving white rings on your furniture?

more…

9to5Mac

Like HomePod, Sonos One Leaves White Rings on Some Furniture

The HomePod’s silicone base can leave white rings on some wood surfaces that have an oil or wax finish, a problem that Apple yesterday said was “not unusual.” As it turns out, Apple wasn’t incorrect — the Sonos One, a competing smart speaker, also leaves white rings on furniture.

Tom’s Guide reviewer Mike Prospero read about the HomePod causing rings on furniture yesterday and went to check his wood cabinet, where he did indeed discover a ring caused by the HomePod. But next to it, he found smaller square shaped marks, which had been caused by the Sonos One located near the HomePod.

Image via Tom’s Guide

When I got home, I saw a large white ring, a telltale indication that the HomePod’s silicone base had messed up the finish. But, as I was inspecting the damage, I noticed a series of smaller white marks near where the HomePod was sitting.

A closer inspection revealed that the Sonos One speaker, which also has small silicone feet, had made these marks on my cabinet. Looking around the top of the cabinet, I noticed a bunch of little white marks, all left from the Sonos Ones as I moved them around. So, they will damage your wood furniture, too. We’re awaiting comment from Sonos.

Like the HomePod, the Sonos One has a silicone base with four small feet. It doesn’t make a ring as prominent as the ring caused by the HomePod, but it does appear to cause the same marks.

White rings became a topic of discussion yesterday morning after independent reviews from Pocket-lint and Wirecutter pointed out the marks the HomePod left on oiled or waxed furniture. After the issue received significant media attention, Apple published a “Cleaning and taking care of HomePod” support document that warned about the potential for marks on some wooden surfaces.

Apple said it is not unusual silicone bases to leave mild marks, and that they should go away with time or with some light polishing. Tom’s Guide reviewer Mike Prospero says that the marks do indeed appear to fade with time. From Apple’s support document:

HomePod is designed for indoor use only. When using HomePod, make sure to place it on a solid surface. Place the power cord so that it won’t be walked on or pinched.

It is not unusual for any speaker with a vibration-dampening silicone base to leave mild marks when placed on some wooden surfaces. The marks can be caused by oils diffusing between the silicone base and the table surface, and will often go away after several days when the speaker is removed from the wooden surface. If not, wiping the surface gently with a soft damp or dry cloth may remove the marks. If marks persist, clean the surface with the furniture manufacturer’s recommended cleaning process. If you’re concerned about this, we recommend placing your HomePod on a different surface.

It is not clear why Apple did not inform customers about the possibility of white marks on wood, as this is presumably an issue the company had to know about following the HomePod’s extended beta test with Apple employees and the years of development that went into the product.

A simple HomePod care support document published ahead of the HomePod’s launch, rather than after customers were left to discover the issue on their own would have likely mitigated much of the negative press and frustration from customers.

For those who are concerned about the HomePod damaging their expensive wood furniture, Apple recommends putting the HomePod on a different surface to avoid problems all together.

Related Roundup: HomePod
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MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors – All Stories

Apple HomePod Has Damaged Some Owners’ Wooden Furniture

When Apple announced its much anticipated smart speaker last year, consumers were left disappointed when the firm delayed its release date. The HomePod is finally on sale around the world, and although it’s gathered mostly positive reviews so far, owners are complaining about annoying new flaw.

After placing the smart speaker on wooden surfaces, some users have noticed that it leaves behind a strange white mark – even damaging expensive furniture.

People have taken to social media platforms such as Twitter to discuss the problem. One user called the situation “unfortunate”, suggesting that the firm should have noticed the fault in the design stage.

“After all a designer does, there are some unforeseen issues that always arise…. but this is something that could easily have been caught in the design process,” they wrote.

Apple has since confirmed that its new speaker may cause damage to wooden furniture and has created a dedicated help page to support customers who are experiencing this issue. 

On the page, the company claims that it is not “unusual for any speaker with a vibration-dampening silicone base to leave mild marks when placed on some wooden surfaces”.

It attributed the problem to “oils diffusing between the silicone base and the table surface. However, Apple has reassured customers that they “often go away after several days when the speaker is removed from the wooden surface”.

The company added: “If not, wiping the surface gently with a soft damp or dry cloth may remove the marks. If marks persist, clean the surface with the furniture manufacturer’s recommended cleaning process.”

Wirecutter and PocketLint are among the tech websites that have produced reviews of the speaker, but they too have noticed this flaw.

Stuart Miles, founder of PocketLint, told the BBC that he had to “sand the wood down and then re-oil it” in order to eradicate the damage.

He said: “It wasn’t the end of the world for us. But if you’ve bought an expensive Scandinavian sideboard or some beautiful piece of wooden furniture and then got a mark on it from the speaker, you can imagine the horror.”

iDrop News

The Apple HomePod Can Stain Your Furniture

dont-buy-homepod-yet

If you own an Apple HomePod you need to be careful where you place it. Because it turns out that Apple’s smart speaker can stain wooden furniture. This can happen quickly, and be permanent, so we may have to add this to our list of reasons not to buy an Apple HomePod. The HomePod, Apple’s answer to the Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Sonos speakers, has had mixed reviews. By all accounts it sounds incredible, but other limitations mean it’s only really suitable for Apple loyalists. And now we have staingate to consider… Be Careful Where You Put Your HomePod…

Read the full article: The Apple HomePod Can Stain Your Furniture

iPhone and iPad – MakeUseOf

Sonos One feet leaving same white marks on wood furniture that the HomePod can

Article Image

A day after a debacle began about the HomePod silicone ring on the base of the unit was causing a stain to appear on some wood surfaces, it looks that the Sonos One has a similar issue with its own vibration-insulating feet.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News