In a statement this week, Target announced that it added a couple of new augmented reality-esque features to its mobile website. Aimed at helping consumers determine if a piece of furniture fits in their home prior to making the purchase, Target’s “See It In Your Space” function lets the user manipulate products on top of actual pictures of their home or living space.
I say it’s AR-esque because the application of the technology isn’t augmented reality in the traditional sense. To their credit, Target has enabled this feature on devices without the need of additional (or up-to-date) hardware or software. That means iPhone users without the latest iOS will still be able to use the feature, because ARKit is not required for it to work. That does, however, mean that this isn’t truly augmented reality. Target essentially requires the user to take a picture of the space they’d like to see the furniture in, and then have that picture go through an on-site process that then places a 3D version of the piece of furniture into the scene. You can move the furniture around and see it in proper scale, but what you’ll be looking at is a static photo.
It’s a unique concept that plays off of the excitement AR is bringing to the online retail world. But it’s a stretch to call this true AR. Personally, I’d prefer the ability to walk around the room and see what the piece of furniture looks like from multiple angles. You, theoretically could do that with the Target program, but that would require taking umpteen photos and going through all of the steps with each individual photo.
What I do like, though, is that this is a way to familiarize a larger swath of consumers with the possibilities presented by AR. Barely a fraction of the smartphone market has a phone in hand that can support AR applications. So this web-based AR platform seems to make a lot of sense right now, even if it is a stripped down version of the real thing.
Coding for Dummies
— TNW (@TheNextWeb) October 25, 2017
Knowing how to code is an increasingly important skill for any web-based worker in 2017. Even as editors of a trade publication, we here at Dealerscope need to have a pretty basic understanding of HTML and CSS in order to make things work how we want them to (or to skirt around some of our IT departments overly-difficult design policies, but shhh, don’t tell them). Sometimes, though, it can be so difficult to figure out how to get some sketch that we have in mind into a piece of code that renders nicely on the website.
There appears to be a very real solution for that problem now, and it comes from an unlikely source.
According to a report on The Next Web today, Airbnb in currently developing a new AI system that will enable its designers and product managers to very literally take ideas that they’ve sketched out and turn them into actual products almost instantaneously.
As you can see in the GIF in the tweet above, the program takes drawings and turns them into coded pieces of web beauty. Of course, that’s an oversimplified way of looking at things, but this is the kind of tool that has the potential to be a game changer in the world of coding.
“This system has already demonstrated massive potential,” Airbnb design technology lead Benjamin Wilkins told The Next Web. “We’ve experimented using the same technology to live-code prototypes from whiteboard drawings, to translate high fidelity mocks into component specifications for our engineers, and to translate production code into design files for iteration by our designers.”
More CE News
- AT&T is leaning on DirecTV Now as subscribers continue to ditch traditional video service. The company reported 385K satellite subscribers jumped ship, but they added 296k on the streaming service.
- Apple has acquired PowerbyProxi, a New Zealand-based company that designs wireless charging systems that can integrate into other products.
- Autoparts maker Delphi announced that it has acquired NuTonomy, a Boston-based startup that is very much entrenched in the autonomous vehicle space.