Recently, while surfing the web, I came across this new technology...that seemed to good to be true!
I contacted Joe Recchia, the Vice President of Sales for Cimagine, to verify if this technology was as awesome as I read it to be and asked him for a demo. He proceeded to show me this really new and exciting technology using Augmented Reality which is THE coolest technology that I've ever seen....and believe me, I get contacted almost daily by technology companies and this is the only one that has totally WOW'd me, ever!
Essentially, it takes a 2 dimensional image and re-formats it to a 3 dimensional image...so consumers can see how furniture, or any object, will look like in their home. Consumers can rotate it, see the sides, back, front, top-down...every/any angle AND it show dimensions so the consumer knows exactly how it will look in the space they want to place it.
What is Augmented Reality? It's a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. (Virtually every thing you see is augmented reality. THINK every movie, TV show and more. They all use it to enhance the subject matter, so this is NOT new to consumers, they've accepted this since the first Star Wars Movie in the 70's).
He gave me a tour of Cimagine's product and.....................
I WAS BLOWN AWAY....PERIOD!
Anyone who follows my RANTS knows, I'm big on technology, especially how new technologies can help brands and retailers "Do More Business", with today's "wired consumer".
SO PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO READ THIS AND WATCH THE VIDEOS...IT IS WORTH THE 15 MINUTES OF YOUR TIME
Before I get started, I want to give you some new information about what's happening with e-commerce in my industry - Home Furnishings. I remembered, just a few years ago, everyone said that buying furniture online will never take hold because people have to see it, touch it, sit in it, or whatever. I heard the same excuses for shoes, clothes, everything, and guess how that turned out?
Time for a quick wake up call here:
o, ignoring the facts about technology and the internet will make you irrelevant....not a question of IF, it's a fact as to
So, what is this new technology that blew me away? Its' an APP that can be downloaded to your iPad or Android device where you can take a product, any product that has been formatted, and view what that product would look like IN YOUR HOME.
Yep, you heard me, use this APP to scan a picture of your kitchen, living room, or whatever, then click on Cimagine's product to "visualize how that product" will look like in the space ofyour home.
Here's a quick video to show you how it works
OK, so you have probably figured out that the products are done using augmented reality of the products being shown....before you jump to conclusions that this would never work or look good with furniture, or other industries because it "Doesn't show the product attributes" like a photograph of the product does. Consider this:
Have you seen Star Wars, or The Avengers, or Avatar or.......? Guess what, they all use it and it was believable and amazing, correct? Some a BILLION times, at least that is what some of these movies grossed....because they were so REAL and consumers were immersed in this augmented reality environment.
Well the same holds true here, and it is incredibly simple to explain.
Cimagine’s software takes two dimensional scans and re-formats them into three-dimensional scans of products and visualizes them into photos of your living room. The program lets customers sample online products in a snapshot of their living space, which Cimagine’s solution literally scans and measures. From there, its “driftless, markerless” technology allows users to visualize products placed in exact spots in their homes. Your home is now a showroom for you to see what the products look like IN YOUR HOME, not in someone's retail showroom....AND it gives you dimensions, so you'll know it will fit in your room, where you want it.
Think about how that will help your salespeople "close the deal"?
Imagine retail store's salespeople that are equipped with this tool. Store shoppers using the app create a saved digital picture of the room they want to put furniture, accessories or any product they want to buy. They can then scan the label or a QR code of a sofa or chair they like and the app will superimpose a 3-D image of the item into that photo.
When viewing a product in the app, users can change its orientation and move it around the space as desired. There's an option to instantly switch between available colors, and once happy with the placement of the furniture, a still photo – Cimagine calls them "scenes" – can be taken and quickly shared with friends via email or social network.
This isn't a BETA product, it's being used by major brands like Coca Cola, Shop Direct, a $3BN retailer in the U.K., John Lewis and more retailers and brands worldwide. And the good news, they just brought it to the United States, and they are already gaining a lot of traction with some very large brands and forward thinking retailers.
And it's been put to the test:
Just a month ago, Cimagine started testing its technology in five Coca-Cola markets. It has already saved the Company and some of its bottling partners time and money, reducing sales representatives’ visits to plan and place equipment in stores from three days to one day. The sales reps using the technology also experienced a 20 percent boost in sales of coolers and equipment overall, with 92 percent success of a sale when using the technology to engage a customer.
Forbes - 02/15/2016
Seismic Shift To Millennials Driving Dramatic Changes In U.S. Furniture Market
"While these startups offer furniture that is easy to assemble, other startups serving the furniture category are appealing to millennials’ tech savviness. For example, Israeli startup Cimagine provides solutions to blend augmented reality into businesses. Furniture retailers make use of the company’s technology to help consumers virtually fit furniture into their homes via a mobile app".
Forbes - 9/17/2015
"Cimagine’s tech doesn’t need any markers to work, so users can simply point their mobile device at a room and easily see how their purchase would look in the space. Cimagine needs very limited computer resources, so it’s perfect for the phones and tablets most users have at home”
why is it?
about bill napier
Bill Napier is Managing Partner of Napier Marketing Group. He has been the chief marketing officer of several small, medium and large companies throughout his career, most notably Ashley Furniture Industries Inc. Many in the home furnishings industry call him an industry serial disruptor. "His thought provoking blog will challenge conventional wisdom, look under the industry’s hood and seek to uncover the critical clues to improving its performance". Bill is also a featured writer and speaker in the retail industry. His vast understanding of the issues retailers and brands face to compete in the digital arena, coupled with his humorous interpretation of his knowledge of trends, facts and solutions for helping companies compete, makes for an engaging and informative session for every brand or retailer that attends his sessions. His passion is to help retail brands & brick mortar retailers grow their business by creating, guiding and deploying successful marketing B2B/B2C solutions integrating traditional marketing with the web/social media. You can see his passion for this at his FREE marketing information website;