Utah tech firm bringing augmented reality shopping to life with big brands
Jordan Hogan, KSTU
LEHI, Utah — The way that we shop is changing thanks to a technology called augmented reality (AR).
Big brands like Lego, Walmart, and Overstock are working with the Utah-based company ‘Seek’ to bring shopping to life and it’s the brainchild of a BYU computer science graduate.
When shopping online, there’s always the risk that what you buy isn’t what you had in mind when it shows up on your doorstep or in your mailbox.
Whether its clothes, furniture, tech, or toys, the two-dimensional picture only goes so far.
Now Jon Cheney and his company Seek are working to change that.
“When you’re shopping for something online you already, you’re used to clicking on a picture or video, something to help visualize it,” says Cheney.
AR is adding an extra layer of confidence for shoppers by letting them see what they’re buying in more detail from every angle.
Cheney says, “This takes it to the next level. It lets you see what it looks like in your life and it makes a big difference in knowing that when you’ve ordered this expensive kitchen table online that you’ve made the right decision.”
The great thing about AR is that it already comes on most of the newest phones like the iPhone X, The Google Pixel 3 and The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.
For websites that use the tech, you just click on the photo of the product and then select the AR view.
This lets you see if things like a couch or a table will fit in your home, among other things.
“This even helps in the store. We actually work right now with WalMart and Walmart has in-store QR codes that somebody can just scan and see a product out of the box. what’s it going to look like when it’s set up,” says Cheney.
Seek isn’t just working with big retailers. Their AR work is also being used by animal shelters to let people get a better look at the animals they’re thinking of adopting.
“We believe that through augmented reality, people can create a better experience upfront, maybe better decisions and therefore avoid all the headaches associated with a bad purchase,” says Cheney.
There are more plans in the pipeline too. Seek says it’s working with Vans to use AR for measuring shoe sizes.
The company’s CEO thinks they’ll have that feature up and running in 2020 or 2021.