John Lewis adds 'Virtual Sofa' AR feature to its iOS app

David Murphy

John Lewis has launched an augmented reality feature on its IOS app which will enable customers to see how sofas and armchairs will look in their homes before they buy. The ‘Virtual Sofa’ feature is initially being tested with over 123 of the shop’s best-selling sofas, with more to be added in the coming weeks.

“Buying a new sofa or armchair is a very considered purchase as it’s something we tend to have for a long time,” said Sean O’Connor, partner and head of online product & customer experience at John Lewis. “From talking to our customers we know that many of them go through as many as 13 different stages before making their final choice of sofa; so we wanted to simplify this process for them.

“Customers can now browse styles on our website, test comfort in one of our shops, and check scale and colour in their home using the AR function in the app. We know this will not only save a lot of time but also offer peace of mind that their new sofa will look great in their home.”

To use Virtual Sofa, open the John Lewis app, tap the ‘View In Your Room’ banner on the homepage and the button below the product. Then tap ‘Get Started’, hold the phone towards the floor and move slowly from side to side to scan the room. When a square appears tap it to load the sofa or armchair onto the screen. Double tap to turn dimensions off and on, whilst colour swatches are shown at the bottom of the screen and can be tapped to apply or easily hidden from view. Use one finger to move the product around the screen and two fingers to rotate the product for a full 360-degree view

The launch of Virtual Sofa follows the successful trial of John Lewis’s ‘Virtual Lipstick’ feature last year, which gives customers the chance to test hundreds of colours in real time before buying. In June last year the retailer also began trialling ‘Visualise Your Space’ in its Cambridge, Horsham, Kingston, and Peterborough stores. The service uses virtual reality headsets to let customers create an entire room set, using the dimensions of a room in their home, and drop in John Lewis products to see how they look.

The ‘Virtual Sofa’ technology, was developed in-house, and is available to anyone using the John Lewis & Partners app on an IOS13-enabled device.