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Shoppers can now use augmented reality to pick out furniture from Pottery Barn

Why it matters to you

Augmented reality lets you try furniture before you buy it... well, sort of.

Pottery Barn, child company to the San Francisco retail giant Williams-Sonoma, recently announced that it will be releasing a new augmented reality app, which the company has appropriately named 3D Room View.

Sometimes, customers are disappointed when they buy furniture that looks beautiful when staged in pictures or in a store, but doesn’t look the same when they set up that furniture in their homes. Perhaps, the wall color doesn’t go with the pattern on the sofa, or the curtains don’t match the pillows. Pottery Barn’s AR app aims to solve this problem by allowing customers to visually try out living room furniture before they buy it.

The 3D Room View app works with Google’s Project Tango, a platform that uses motion tracking, area learning, and depth perception to allow mobile devices to understand their position relative to the world around them. Since the app runs on Tango, only two phones will be able to run 3D Room view as of right now — the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro and the Asus ZenFone AR.

The app will be coming out this month. At first, customers will only be able to use it for living room furniture and decorations. But later on, the app will add other rooms, the company said to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Pottery Barn is certainly not the first company to jump on the augmented reality bandwagon. In January, Wayfair released its own augmented reality app that also works with Tango — Wayfair View. Several other companies, ranging from Ikea to Lowe’s to Chevrolet are getting into AR. Pottery Barn’s app is not a new idea, but it may help prevent repeat trips to the store.