Furniture Lab

Furnishing of a furniture lab/showroom at the TU Clausthal

We are pleased to announce the completion of our planned “Research Living Room” at the TU Clausthal. We aimed for the typical “living room feel” while furnishing the room. The room was instated to enable showcasing the ARBay-System as well as conducting studies in the context of furniture consultations. Because such studies cannot be conducted in the showroom of a furniture store during opening hours, this variant represents a nice alternative to stay flexible while conducting studies in the context of project ARBay. For this, the research living room can be used by all project partners.

The new research living room showcased from two different perspectives

The living room has already been used to conduct two studies. These are currently being analyzed and the results will be presented in scientific publications.

As part of the master’s thesis of Mr. Gordon Brown (M.Sc.), the living room has been used to evaluate the influence of different appearances and behaviors of avatars. These avatars embodied a remotely connected furniture consultant, and served as the visualization of the consultant for the customer. The study aimed at determining how the avatar’s appearance and behavior influence the success of consultations. Participants of the study (“customers”) used the Microsoft HoloLens to view different virtual furniture. The consultant conducted a remote consultation with them during which the customer was supposed to buy a couch. With the help of the AR glasses, virtual couch recommendations could be displayed directly to real furniture without effort.

Customer with augmented reality glasses and (visible to them) virtual furniture

Currently, the research living room is being used for a student study aimed at evaluating how different tools can support a remotely connected consultant in providing a better consultation experience. The different tools were evaluated with real furniture consultants who, at the time, were located in their home furniture store. The research living room was used to portray the customer’s perspective to the consultants. The consultant can see the customer in their home environment using the different tools and can conduct their consultation this way. Since the home environment of the customer stays the same when using the research living room, the different tools could be compared to each other more efficiently. For this study, the customer is wearing augmented reality glasses, as well, through which the consultant is able to see the customer’s surroundings.

Virtual representation of research living room as visible on virtual reality glasses, including a virtual couch, the consultant’s virtual hand and a selection of virtual couches

As soon as any results become available, they will be made public on the ARBay homepage, as well. We’re looking forward to conducting much more research using the research living room.

 

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