The first breakout augmented reality product for the consumer market could be LCi ‘s (Limitless Computing Inc.) SightSpace platform, which was demoed at the ShowStoppers event last night at CES.
It’s easy enough to use, does what it says it will do and has a direct path to major marketing support and revenue from mainstream brands.
SightSpace lets you preview how new furniture or a kitchen remodel or just a fresh coat of paint will look in your home. To use it now, you take an iPad or compatible Android tablet, surf to Google 3D Warehouse, download a 3D drawing of, say, a chair into the SightSpace app, then point the tablet’s camera at the corner where you’re thinking about putting it.
The picture of the chair is overlaid on the live video image of your living room. It’s 3D, so you can walk around and see how it looks from different angles. They even have a stereoscopic feature, so you can put on 3D glasses for an optional pop-out effect.
It’s a ready-made marketing tool for online retailers, one that could give them a substantial advantage over brick and mortar competitors. Shoppers could download directly from the retailer’s website and instantly see whether a product matches up with the space or the person intended.
There’s little risk. The product and design renderings retailers need to create would be in a format used by Google’s free SketchUp application, Google Earth and Google 3D Warehouse and convertible to other file formats.
It opens the door to mass market partnerships for LCi, with substantial revenue streams. And augmented reality overlays on rooms, buildings and land are just the beginning. It could also enable online shoppers to try on clothes, sample a travel package or even have some fun with online dating. The only limit – financial or otherwise – for Limitless Computing’s SightSpace is imagination.