It had been talked about for some time, but only following the recent “revolution” caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, what was once mainly a trend is turning into an increasingly tangible and widespread solution : virtual reality as a new platform for Furniture and Design sector (as well as for many other industries, on a wider range).

In consideration of the fact that the vast majority of users now use their smartphone, tablet or computer to design and make their purchases , the need for companies to offer totally immersive digital and multimedia experiences has become increasingly prevalent . 

Starting from the so-called ” augmented reality ” that had already begun to take hold around 2017 (think for example of the Augmented Reality app based on Apple’s ARKit technology ), the possibility of defining furnishings, products, accessories and combining and combining them within a virtual environment it represented the password of the sector . 

In practical terms, this means that interior design brands that will be able to communicate the full value of their products, while offering the possibility of placing them in digital environments , will see themselves increasingly favored in online purchases by users. 

The evolution from augmented reality to virtual reality (as well as mixed reality ) is relatively recent and, almost certainly, the trend is sustained and closely intertwined with the COVID-19 experience , which has forced all companies to push on the accelerator of technologies to offer increasingly advanced and flexible services. 

In fact, virtual reality for the Furniture & Design sector consists in the proposal of environments (intended as rooms, areas or even complete buildings) under construction, partially built, finished or still in the design phase. 

In this way, the client or the digital observer has the possibility to penetrate the spaces without any need to be physically on the spot, as well as to move inside them . The technology, which is constantly evolving, allows you to add multimedia content of different types (from written texts to videos, from images to explanatory captions, and so on) and can be delivered in different ways . 

There are therefore different types of virtual reality . Let’s see together the most noteworthy ones.

What is virtual reality: the main types available

In general terms, Virtual Reality is defined as a simulated reality using a three-dimensional environment that is designed and built digitally https aka ms remoteconnect

This virtual environment can be explored , that is, it is possible to interact with it , using special tools such as gloves, earphones or viewers that “transport” the observer into a space so realistic that it has always been completely concrete . 

In order to achieve these results, it is possible to use different modes : 

  1. Augmented reality : it consists in enhancing and enriching the perception of an environment through different digital contents and inputs that, in real time, allow to get to know an environment or part of it in more detail. It is not an “immersive” reality like the virtual one, but it is still an extremely inclusive and interactive technology that can be used with devices now available to everyone. An example? Smartphones. 
  2. Mixed reality : also called MR or Mixed Reality, is a technology that has the peculiarity of mixing physical and virtual reality using augmented reality. A sort of overlap is therefore created between the concrete and the virtual plane, offering the observer the opportunity to immerse himself in the environment that surrounds him while obtaining useful information about it. Another feature of mixed reality lies in the ability to observe and move virtual objects within a real space. 
  3. Virtual reality : it is the most advanced technology ever and the one at which the Furniture & Design sector is increasingly aiming. It provides for the complete isolation of the external environment, which is transferred and reproduced in detail in a parallel reality that is, precisely, virtual and totally immersive. In fact, this technology makes design hypotheses that do not yet exist tangible, or transports the observer into an existing environment without the person having to be physically inside it, canceling space and time. 

The Furniture & Design sector seems increasingly willing to exploit the incredible power of Virtual Reality to communicate with its target audience through a very deep interaction between user and environment . 

How? Not only showing his own creations , but also suggesting stylistic, technical or chromatic projects and choices , placing objects in the space, customizing the environments according to the client’s needs and allowing him to observe a project even before it is physically completed. 

Digital Plaza: the tool for the Interactive Virtual Tour

Interior Design is one of the many industries that can benefit from the extraordinary potential of Digital Plaza , the Virtual Business Place designed by the NAXA team to host, collaborate and interact in maximum freedom and complete safety, regardless of place and time. 

Digital Plaza is, in fact, a virtual space where the brand can meet partners, collaborators and customers and which allows the visitor to virtually enter the company or any specific location.

In particular for the Furniture & Design sector , the Interactive Virtual Tour in 3D is an advanced virtual reality tool that allows exploration and interaction with extremely detailed environments, offering the user the opportunity to immerse themselves completely in space using your device and an Internet connection. 

It is just one of the different tools designed to make Digital Plaza a 360 degree experience for both the company and its interlocutors. The range of solutions proposed is in fact very wide, and includes virtual and customizable meeting rooms, product configurators, digital events, real-time renderings, and webinar / web-conferencing and training courses . 

Get in touch with NAXA to define the next generation technological tools best suited to your business.

By Arslan Shah

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