Our house is full, and I mean full, of stuff. We live in an old 1950’s concrete-built 3-bed home with 3 of our 4 children. Our eldest moved in with his girlfriend just over a year ago but that just meant that the girls had more space to fill with all their junk. Although our house is a fairly large 3-bed [by U.K standards], it is poorly laid out, with seemingly random wall positions that may have made sense when it was built, but now make it really difficult to use the space effectively.
My wife and I rarely agree when it is time to re-arrange the furniture in a room or replace an existing piece. We both have different ideas on what will go where and what will look good while maximising the use of space.
One tool I have found useful in coming to an accord in such situations is the growing selection of AR [Augmented Reality] android apps. AR apps allow you to use your smartphone’s camera to view a room and insert 3D images on the phone’s screen. AR furniture apps let you actually see what a piece of furniture will look like in different positions in a room by letting you move the inserted object around the phone’s screen.
There are many AR furniture android apps available to download. Some are better than others, so to help you select the best for your needs, here are a few of the top-rated ones on Google’s play store that I have tried and a brief description of each.
IKEA– The AR section in this app is one of the easiest to use and the images look solid with no glitches that make sections of the item disappear. The control gestures are intuitive and thanks to some great software, you can easily move the object around the room and rotate it to perfectly position it where you want while the app automatically adjusts the scale. This makes it easy to get an accurate idea of what the piece of furniture will look like in the room, which is the whole point of AR furniture android apps. The main drawback is that you can only insert items that are available from Ikea and, at the moment at least, there is a very limited selection to choose from.
AUGMENT– This android app is a lot of fun! There are loads of topics to choose from, furniture being only one of them. The selection of furniture is fairly limited, but you can add more by scanning QR codes whenever you see the Augment logo on a product. The controls are not as intuitive as the Ikea app, scaling is not automatic, and the zoom feature is, at best, fiddly and very ‘hit-and-miss’. You do have more control over how the object though by changing certain characteristics such as the colour on some items. I recommend this app if you want to have a bit of fun with AR, especially if you want to see what a mustang would look like in your garage or see a 3D animated skeleton dancing in your lounge!
WAYFAIR– Great selection of products however the augmented reality is in need of some development. You can select the option to ‘view in room’ but the product appears as either just the whole photo over-laid on the camera screen or a simple cut-out of the original photo. The image usually has transparent areas and there is no option to rotate it so you have to move round the room yourself to get the angle right. There is also no auto-scaling, you have to manually pinch & zoom which means issues when trying to visualise the real-life dimensions of the item in a room. Great for shopping for furniture but not much use as an AR app.
INTIARO– In my opinion, this is the best android app for furniture shopping that I have found. You have to download and print off a marker to place on the floor where you want the product to appear, but the images are high quality and you have full control over the orientation by pressing the ‘configure’ button or adjusting the position of the marker. The product stays in place as you move, and you can walk round it to view it from different angles. Once you are happy, you can then save the image to view again later. There is a wide selection of products available, from furniture for every room, to accessories, and you even have the option to buy the product through the app.
There are several other AR furniture apps available from the android app store, but these are the four that proved most useful to us. I hope you find this information helpful and you can use it to avoid any domestic furniture-related disputes in the future!