Vizera projects stunningly lifelike fabric textures onto furniture

Check this out: VizeraLabs, a fledgling startup based in SF, has developed a projection system that can beam lifelike textures onto just about any kind of blank surface — regardless of whether it’s flat or three-dimensional. The technology has a wide range of potential uses, but the company’s first application is for something you’d never expect: furniture retail.

The idea is that, using this special projection system, retailers would be able to let customers test drive different pattern/color/texture combinations before they commit to buying anything. It’s a strange, niche application for sure, but just wait until you see how well it works.

Related: Adornably uses augmented reality to help you shop for furniture

Using a proprietary “Material Simulation Engine”, the projector is able to match colors, textures, and other features of real materials with lifelike accuracy. The difference between real textures and Vizera’s material projections are nearly imperceptible. Everything, including lighting and shading of the upholstery, looks just like it would if it was covered by actual fabric.

Once the projector is set up and trained on a given furniture piece, shoppers can use a tablet to cycle through different pattern combinations as they please — no more fiddling with fabric swatches and guessing what the end result might look like. According to VizeraLabs, this system would also save retailers money, since having an endless selection of digital patterns would eliminate the need to purchase upholstered pieces to fill the show floor.

Related: Put down those swatches! TapPainter lets you test colors with realistic virtual wall paint

And furniture is only the first application. Moving forward, the company hopes to leverage this projection technology for virtual test-drives of other home decor. Imagine walking inside a small showroom and choosing wallpapers, curtains, rugs and flooring of your house without looking at any physical slabs or samples. It could even be used in auto sales, and allow customers to customize interior colors and texture combinations before they buy a car.

It’s still too early to call, but if this technology takes off, it could very well transform the way we shop for things in the future.

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