News: Shutterstock Gives Customers the Ability to Preview Photos in Augmented Reality

Shutterstock Gives Customers the Ability to Preview Photos in Augmented Reality

Don't look now, but stock photo mega-site Shutterstock may have the most extensive library of augmented reality content available.

The company recently added the "View in Room" augmented reality tool to its iOS app, enabling users to preview approximately 250 million images on vertical surfaces via ARKit.

Images by Tommy Palladino/Next Reality

When viewing a photo, users can select the "View in Room" button to enter the usual surface-detection process. Once the app gets its bearings, users can place the photo into their physical environment and resize it. Users can proceed to purchase a license for the photo once satisfied with how it looks in their space.

"This is yet another great project to have been developed from its initial iteration at our annual employee Hackathon, Hack to the Future. We put this hack into production because of its potential to have an immediate customer impact," said Erin Essex, senior product designer at Shutterstock, in a blog post.

But, you may ask yourself, why would I need to see a 2D photo in augmented reality? The functionality reflects the company's growing role in interior design.

"Shutterstock customers are increasingly using the collection in the form of in-home, in-store or in-office artwork, for retail spaces or restaurant decor. Now, rather than imagining how a new image will look hanging on your wall, you can bring your imagination one step closer to reality by simply using the app to view virtually in a room before licensing," said Essex.

Images by Tommy Palladino/Next Reality

Previewing products in augmented reality is probably the most prevalently-implemented use case among businesses that have adopted the technology for consumer-facing purposes. Customers can view furniture from Ikea, electronics and toys from Amazon, luxury cars from BMW, and home appliances from Lowe's, among others.

With the addition of vertical surface detection in ARKit and ARCore last year, companies offering products that hang on walls can get in the game, too.

Cover image via Tommy Palladino/Next Reality

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