Supun and Ven are part of the team behind Imersian, a software development startup specializing in WebAR and WebXR. Earlier this year, they found out that ShapeDiver added the possibility of viewing Grasshopper files via Augmented Reality, which got them excited. For years, they’ve been working on different applications using Augmented Reality. Still, there has always been something missing: the ability for users to edit a 3D model before viewing it in AR.
1. Welcome! Please tell us a bit about your background. Who is part of the team? What are your hobbies?
My name is Supun Amarasinghe. I'm a full-stack software developer and cloud architect with over 14 years of experience in different industries. I started AR development as a hobby in 2017; since then, I have kept learning new AR frameworks and experimenting with how to improve web AR technology.
My other co-founder Ven has been working in AEC and using 3D/AR/XR technologies for over 7 years. We are a small team with another 2 members in our group.
2. What is Imersian, and what type of work do you specialize in?
We are a software development startup specializing in WebAR and WebXR technologies. We developed the Imersian platform, which can automate the 3D creation workflows and optimize them for web-based Augmented Reality.
3. When did you first get interested in Augmented Reality?
In 2017, I saw IKEA Augmented Reality app. At that time, I realized Augmented Reality could solve the main problem in e-commerce: seeing products in real space before buying. This experience motivated me to learn how Augmented Reality works and pushed me to experiment with web AR technologies.
4. What does AR solve for the eCommerce industry?
We believe AR can solve multiple problems in the eCommerce industry. The most prominent one is that buyers cannot see a physical product before buying it. If the product's value is higher, this becomes a critical issue, and the ability to make a confident purchasing decision is not easy for the customers.
Augmented Reality is a perfect technology to answer questions like, "does this product match the images on the website?", and "does the size fit my space?".
It can bring a very accurate representation of a product on an eCommerce website into the customer's actual space. This can provide much more precise details for the customers to decide on their purchase. As a result, retailers can enhance the number of sales conversions.
For example, one problem for the furniture and interior design industries is that people cannot imagine 3D spaces by only using 2D images and sketches. Augmented Reality is a great way to solve this problem. It allows regular people to place 3D objects in their spaces and see what the sizes, colors, and shapes look like.
5. When did you decide to create this specific approach for AR?
We conducted several case studies and research to analyze how AR could solve the previously mentioned problems.
One key finding was that people do not like downloading multiple apps to get AR experiences. For this reason, we developed Imersian as a 100% web-based AR solution that could help users during specific scenarios where they need to place multiple items in AR.
This is essential when people design a space or compare numerous product variants. Imagine comparing different variants of a sofa or handbag.
6. Which industries can most benefit from AR within eCommerce and why?
We believe any industry that for the past 20 years has tried to sell its physical products via a regular website. If we had to choose, we’d say:
- Furniture and Interior Design: Customers consider several things, such as size, color, and shape, before buying. Augmented reality solves this biggest problem, and retailers can increase their conversion rates. Before AR, retailers used videos, Lifestyle images to provide these details. But the problem is non of those existing solutions can bring a product to the customers' real space.
- Fashion: Customers like to customize products to their preferences. It can be hats, sunglasses, phone covers, or jewelry. 3D and AR facilitate this requirement by visualizing the end product virtually.
7. How does the Imersian app work?
8. How is ShapeDiver an important element in this story?
The 3D models are the primary component to visualize a product in Augmented reality. ShapeDiver can dynamically generate 3D models of different product variants by changing dimensions and textures. This is essential to provide highly customizable product experiences to customers. Therefore, ShapeDiver plays a vital role in this space.
9. What’s the future of Augmented Reality?
AR is still a new technology; only a tiny percentage of the world population knows what it is or has used it. If we look at the previous technological revolutions, we can see that in every decade, there was a significant revolution in how we consume information. For example, in the past, radio, TV, the Internet, and mobile phones changed the way we consume information. We believe the next revolution will be Augmented Reality, boosted by new and upcoming hardware such as AR Glasses from companies like Apple, Microsoft, or Meta (Facebook).
- This has been great! Thank you for taking some time to talk to us.
Thank you as well for this opportunity!
That's it for this new edition of Getting to know... Don't forget to visit Imersian's website and check out the ShapeDiver demo they build. You can follow them on their Instagram account and Linkedin company profile.
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