The idea is to enable designers, as well as ordinary shoppers, to design their own furniture for AR viewing that looks realistic — virtual furniture so real you can trip over it.
“At Theia, we are storytellers. When Apple put AR into every pocket, it gave us an opportunity to tell new kinds of stories to an entirely new audience,” said Theia president Bill Fishkin in a statement. “We hope to harness this powerful tech in order to bring designers a simply magical experience.”
The tools are available for free within Morpholio’s Board app.
“Our hope is that AR doesn’t just present a novel reality, but that it allows shoppers or designers to reimagine home design in new and exciting ways,” said Morpholio cofounder Anna Kenoff in a statement.
The companies teamed up to work together on challenges such as detailed furniture designs and nuances.
Consumers and interior designers do not rely on cartoonish shapes to make critical decisions about color, space, scale, and texture. They need to see detailed finishes, patterns, and even stitching to understand how something might really work in an environment.
Morpholio collaborated with many product companies, including Knoll — a longtime leader in modern home decor design — to see how far it could push this technology. Knoll’s furniture collection is finely detailed, which made it the perfect argument for AR that goes further. The idea is to make you almost feel soft tufts of the leather on a chair.
“Knoll has always pioneered showcasing our classic and contemporary furniture designs to the trade and the public in new ways,” said David Bright, Knoll senior vice president of communications, in a statement. “Without question, AR has become an exciting way to experience Knoll design for the way we work and live.”
Morpholio wants to make AR part of a larger and more meaningful design process.
“This isn’t about hitting the buy button on a single piece of furniture,” said Morpholio cofounder Mark Collins in a statement. “This is powerful visualization technology that needed to be plugged into the entire interior design workflow, helping homeowners and designers alike to imagine and curate spaces holistically.”
Board now allows users to add each AR product to their mood board, alongside other models, fixtures, and furnishings. The result is a vision for an entire room or project that can be brought to life. Taking it a step further, with a single button Board automatically translates your AR selections into cut sheets and furniture lists you can share with your contractor, designer, or collaborators.
“By bringing these pieces into AR, we’ve changed the way people can interact with and consider the furniture that will surround them when creating their ideal home or office. The result is a first in the space and truly redefines how we understand what good AR can do for the design industry,” said Fishkin of Theia.
Once designers start putting AR furniture into scenes in homes to show how they really look, shoppers will be able to make better buying decisions, Morpholio said.
The tools take advantage of Apple’s ARKit, USDZ 3d file format, and the upcoming People Occlusion in iOS13. Morpholio Board AR is available for the iPad and will come to the iPhone soon.