- Sherwin-Williams added a feature to its ColorSnap Visualizer mobile app to let users see how paint colors might look on a wall using augmented reality (AR), the technology that overlays digital images on a real background seen through a smartphone camera, according to a press release.
- The Instant Paint tool lets mobile users test out the company's 1,500 colors on walls in real time before ever walking into one of its 4,200 stores in North America. The AR feature virtually transforms a space to help customers browse and more confidently select a paint color and avoid costly repairs from repainting.
- Sherwin-Williams' app is available in the App Store and Google Play. Instant Paint works for North American customers with an iPhone 6s or newer running iOS 11, or Android users with AR-compatible smartphones like the Pixel 2 or GalaxyS9. Customers with earlier devices can still see how a color will look in their space by uploading a photo and digitally painting the walls on their smartphone.
Marketers are increasingly spotting the value in offering try-before-you-buy features that use augmented reality, including those from industries like cosmetics, furniture and home improvement. Previewing paint color in real-world contexts can give homeowners another virtual tool to help them more confidently test and make a purchase decision while browsing a variety of products.
Sherwin-Williams is among the companies that are introducing or updating apps with AR features after tech giants Apple and Google rolled out software kits to help developers more easily and efficiently create apps with the cutting-edge technology. Apps that added AR functionality in the past six months pushed the number of AR-compatible apps in the App Store to more than 2,000, according to data this month from Sensor Tower.
Home design apps have been at the forefront of weaving AR capabilities into mobile apps to market furnishings and help people plan shopping trips before they hit the store or order online. EBay, Ikea, Lowe's, Overstock, Pottery Barn and Wayfair are among the major brands that have recently incorporated AR into their various apps.
Ikea Place, the home decorating chain's mobile app that uses AR to help people pick out furniture, ranked No. 2 among free apps that use Apple's ARKit platform, beating out dozens of gaming apps, Sensor Tower found. Meanwhile, ARKit app downloads more than quadrupled to 13 million in March from six months earlier, the researcher said. Only 100 million Android phones out of the estimated 2 billion worldwide can support the ARCore technology, but that proportion will likely surge over the next few years.