Configure a stove model and accessories before you buy #AugmentedReality
What is the project about?
What is this project about?
The goal of the augmented reality app is to showcase the most popular stove models and related accessory, to offer end-consumers a free decision-making tool and, with that, provide the retailers with a sales aid. With the augmented reality app, end-consumers can configure different product elements and modules, then review which model they like best in their own living room – virtually on the display of a smartphone or tablet.
The app should target mobile devices (iOS, Android) while using ARCore, ARKit. We decided for the AR plug in by Unity-ARFoundation.
With a view to the performance of mobile devices, only 3D models with as few polygons as possible can be used. The virtual models can be individually looked at from all sides. Via touch, the user can also select another model, other compatible accessories as well as click on links to the respective PDF of the product catalogue.
A photo can be taken from every point of view in order to save it to memory or share it across social media channels. The mobile app for iOS and Android should be as easy to handle and user-friendly as possible.
DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT
Persona, characteristics of our typical user End-consumer, potential purchasers of stove products, interior designer, architects, field sales representatives from the customer, specialist shops
Concept created with Excel, sketches, texts, UI buttons, CI:
Designing the app's UI color palette, the UI layout according to the CI.
Modeling the animated models on the basis of mechanical drawings.
Design development details
3D models Using technical drawings and high-resolution photo material, first a high- and low-poly 3D-model was modeled for each individual product. Afterwards came texture, lighting, renderings, an export for additional use in the app, and compression for mobile devices.
User interface The design of the microsite and the user interface follows the corporate design of the brand, especially in terms of colors and fonts.
Visuals In order to avoid sticky app performance, we worked on finding the right balance between low-res textures and good visual quality, low-poly 3D models. We paid special attention to a stable frame rate which was a bit challenging, since we had to cope with multiple shaders and materials (glass, metal, matte materials) as well as the fire particle animation.
Test no 1
of the very first prototype
The users of the first tests did not recognize the gesture features to move and rotate a virtual product in the AR scene. We decided to add a kind of live step-by-step tutorial as well as a demo video to demonstrate how to place, to translate, to rotate, and to assemble products.
DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT
Improvements We adjusted the AR scene with icons and other visual elements to explain to the user how to place, to translate and to rotate a model with the well-known gestures (tap, drag, rotate etc.) Test no 2 Per request from the client, we adjusted the animation speed of certain models. We also added a "mini size product mode", so that the same product model could be scaled down and placed on a table instead of on the floor in original size.
App submission to the Apple App Store:
Ten days before the start of the international trade fair ISH, the definite deadline of the app launch, the Apple app store rejected our app submission.
"Guideline 4.2.2 - Design - MinimumFunctionality We noticed that your app’s main functionality is to market your service, with limited or no user-facing interactive features or functionality. Apps that are primarily marketing materials or advertisements are not appropriate for the App Store." (quotation of the Apple App Store review feedback)
We quickly solved the issue by implementing a concentration card game using product images as well as an interactive mode where app user could customize the color of selected stoves via an interactive color picker. Fortunately, we were able to submit and release the app in time.
The AR app showcases the most popular stove products of our client. It offers a user-friendly interface and ease of operation. It includes product-relevant information. It was already successfully used in its first version during special trade fairs by field sales representatives, specialist shops, as well as end consumers.
App-Launch: 2019, iOS and Android