Augmented reality (AR)—the ability to overlay digital information over what you see through a lens—is expanding into the world of home renovation. In fact, storied appliance maker Jenn-Air has released an iPhone app that uses AR technology to help you update your kitchen.
Ask most people (most men, anyway) about augmented reality, and they will tell you about the Terminator movies. The film trio featured a cyborg character, who sees the world as an endless digital list of options for killing.
Though augmented reality smacks of science fiction, it’s a real thing and has been in use for almost 20 years.
The Jenn-Air app, DesignVision, is a very simple way to imagine what your home would look like with one of the company’s appliances.
Download DesignVision for free from the iTunes Store. Choose the Jenn-Air appliance you are interested in, and your phone’s camera then opens. A stock model is superimposed over whatever the camera sees.
Slide left or right to see different versions of the appliance. Touch the one you like to change the stock image. Product details—the oven’s dimensions, for instance—appear in a strip along the top of your screen.
You can save or cancel your image, share it via email or social media, or find a nearby showroom with Jenn-Air products.
All of this is very good, and speaks well of Jenn-Air and its parent, Whirlpool. The app wins on simplicity but suffers on account of at least one key omission: You should be able to position multiple appliances in a photo.
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