Augmented reality isn’t all face swaps and Pikachu hunting.
Although lighthearted entertainment applications often seem to dominate the AR landscape, some technologists are taking the technology in a more practical direction. If Specifix president Jerry Freeman has his way, for instance, you’ll soon be using it to choose the wallpapers and floors for your next office redecoration.
With a point-and-shoot interface, the company’s app lets users pick a surface — inside or outside — and see what it would look like in a new color, material or pattern.
“The whole purpose is to help people visualize what a product will look like installed in an existing environment,” said Freeman.
That’s important, he said, because existing design features can greatly influence what a new floor or wallpaper will look like. By showing people a fully realized end result rather than small, square samples, Freeman hopes to help sales reps, contractors, architects and designers better serve their customers.
While Specifix primarily focuses on building materials like tiles, wallpaper and carpet, the app could be used for other design elements like light fixtures and furniture in the future.
“Imagine if you had the entire IKEA catalog in here,” said Freeman. “Before you even go the store, you could have your entire shopping list ready. Hell, why even go to the store?”
Specifix is also in dialogue with a company in the apparel industry to explore whether its technology can be used to let customers “try on” clothing.
An architect by training, Freeman started his career designing high-end law firm offices before launching his first software company in 2009. He decided to dive into AR after several attempts at contracting external developers to build an AR product for his other company, Pro Material Solutions.
Specifix aims to offer its app as a white label solution for construction material manufacturers. In addition to helping those companies show their products off to customers, Freeman said the startup can help them get better data on regional design trends and taste differences.
Launched in beta this May, Specifix currently has a team of nine, in addition to Freeman.
Image via Specifix.