What is spatial computing?
AR, VR, MR, XR - these are all different acronyms to describe the spectrum of a new evolution of computing - one that is heavily visual and that incorporates the space around you into your computing environment.
Spatial computing is a term that has become more popular as of late, but has existed for a while. Spatial computing describes the larger evolution of how we create, consume, and interact with information. It is the blending of real world and digital content, where your physical space becomes part of the computing environment. The computer and the physical space around you are merged together; information is no longer siloed to your computer screen, but placed in context.
When your physical space becomes your “screen,” many new possibilities arise. More intuitive and natural customer experiences can be built. Imagine being able to prop up multiple “tabs” of product pages, and then pull out pieces of virtual furniture into your space and compare them with each other within the context of your space. Or simply point to a part of your physical space and have it magically be overlaid with virtual re-designs!
Companies like Google, Magic Leap, Meta, and now Apple have all made strides in making this vision of spatial computing a reality.
What’s interesting in Apple’s approach with the Vision Pro (apart from great hardware & software and a focus on their product design), is that they are introducing the concept in an easy to understand way. By bridging our familiar desktop screens and mobile interfaces to the new spatial environment, Apple Vision Pro enables us to intuitively take the leap to a new, powerful, infinite three-dimensional canvas that is your work-space, app-space, and entertainment-space.
Wayfair and spatial computing
Since Wayfair’s inception, we’ve influenced and redefined the way people shop for all things home. Everyone should live in a space they love and we want to give people the seamless experience of shopping for their home, from their own homes. We believe spatial computing enables the future of shopping and we’ve continuously participated in and influenced the evolution of spatial shopping.
Wayfair has nearly a decade of experience in experimenting with spatial computing. In 2016, we were the first retailer to launch a shopping app for augmented reality. WayfairView allowed customers with Tango phones to place 3D furniture items in their space. Since then, we’ve continued to launch applications across the spatial computing spectrum, from experiments in virtual reality to the first interior design app for Magic Leap’s mixed reality glasses to bringing AR to our mass market customer, all while investing in democratizing and unifying standards for 3D content creation.
Check out our concept video that describes Spatial Computing, and how asset creation may evolve when the Spatial Internet becomes a reality.
Our latest pilot application, Wayfair Decorify for Apple Vision Pro, is one more step in the evolution of spatial commerce.
Decorify for Apple Vision Pro
We’ve always believed in experimenting to create cutting-edge, yet practical experiences to transform the way we shop. This is why we built Decorify for spatial, available at launch for Apple Vision Pro. Decorify reimagines the interior design process and is the quickest and easiest way to redesign your home in new styles. Simply upload a photo of your living room, bedroom, or dining room and we will create photorealistic transformations of your space to keep you inspired. Each design features matching Wayfair products so customers can make their dream home a reality.
Designed for spatial computing, Decorify seamlessly blends digital content with the physical world. Our “See in your space” feature lets customers place true-to-size virtual Wayfair products in their home, giving shoppers unmatched confidence in their purchases. Navigate with your eyes and hands to move and rotate Wayfair products in your space. With our “Immersive view” feature, customers can see their reimagined room on the big screen as if they were looking at a spatial photo with depth.
Beyond creating infinite transformations of your space, Decorify lets you save the designs you love to your favorites and share those designs with friends and family.
How we built Decorify for Apple Vision Pro
Once we had conviction around the idea, creating Decorify for Apple Vision Pro in time for availability on the App Store at launch required pulling together a cross-functional team from various technology areas to iterate quickly. Some members of the team had deep expertise in SwiftUI and Apple frameworks, and the visionOS SDK provided unique functionality not yet seen on any other Apple platform. Others on the team brought expertise in GenAI and building web APIs to ensure that the Decorify backend could meet the needs of the new app.
A few novel features that are worth calling out:
Due to the impressive ability of Apple Vision Pro for immersion we had the opportunity to craft some truly unique experiences when building the Decorify app. One of these experiences previews for you what it would be like to fully implement the design suggested by Decorify in an actual room without having to spend the money and the time to make it happen. This preview works by letting you view your design through a life-sized portal. The portal is like a window into the newly designed room and gives the appearance of 3D & depth to the furniture and decor in the room letting you experience what it would be like to look into the room. These new designs are akin to Spatial Photos.
The journey to build out a customer-facing interior design tool started over a year ago, when generative AI models reached a tipping point to produce increasingly realistic & consistent imagery. A multidisciplinary team from across Wayfair began experimenting with diffusion models and this work evolved to become the web version of Decorify, a pilot application that’s been used by tens of thousands of customers today. Decorify utilizes open-source diffusion models to restyle a customer’s space while preserving their layout. After the model generates the redesigned space, Decorify performs visual similarity matching to determine the closest Wayfair product matches in our catalog. We built upon our previous work for the web to engineer Decorify for spatial computing.
See in your space
Since 2016, we have created multiple iterations of the “See in your space” feature across various platforms to preview true-to-size 3D products in your home. Apple Vision Pro’s powerful ability to blend virtual content with your physical space combined with intuitive interactions with eyes and hands made a “See in your space” feature an obvious addition to Decorify.