Wayfair's innovation lab focused on visualization tech

Wayfair has opened a research and development lab devoted to developing new technologies that improve the online shopping experience.

"Wayfair Next is dedicated to accelerating the shift to online shopping by improving the visualization of products through first-party technologies that will drive innovation in home furnishings and decor," according to a company statement.

Currently, the lab is exploring new 3-D scanning techniques to digitize Wayfair's catalog to be used for augmented reality, virtual reality and 2-D rendering.

"Virtual reality and augmented reality will enable shoppers to bring their home decor ideas to life before they even make a purchase," said Steve Conine, co-chairman and co-founder of Wayfair. "We look forward to rolling out solutions we believe will make e-commerce a preferred method for purchasing home furnishings, and inspiring and educating the community about the potential of these visualization technologies in the home space."

The lab also hosts the Wayfair Virtual Reality Experience, a hands-on demo that allows users to transform a room by customizing the model, material, color and layout of furnishings and decor. Wayfair Next is also building its augmented reality application for Google Tango, which allows users to see how pieces of furniture and decor will look and fit in their homes through the display on a smartphone.

"Technology innovation has always set us apart from every other player in the home space," said Conine. "Wayfair Next represents our commitment to constantly raising the bar to create the best possible shopping experience for the home, adapted to how consumers shop today and in the future."

Wayfair has been particularly proactive regarding new technology, developing and investing in proprietary programs such as its a catalog based on analytics for a personalized experience and 3-D product models.

For more:
- see this Wayfair announcement

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