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Williams-Sonoma is buying into AR, literally

The home furnishings giant is buying an AR company that helped design mobile AR apps for Pottery Barn earlier this year. The future of home decor is augmented.

Pottery Barn's 3D Room View app uses AR, and there's going to be more to come.
Pottery Barn

Shopping for your new kitchen in a physical store? Odds are, you'll eventually be window-shopping in AR.

The home furnishings giant Williams-Sonoma is purchasing Outward, a San Jose company specializing in 3D scanning and augmented reality, for $112 million, Recode reported Friday. Williams-Sonoma also owns Pottery Barn and West Elm.

Outward made an AR app for Pottery Barn called 3D Room View earlier this year that ran on Google's Tango AR platform, allowing 3D models of furniture to be placed in real rooms.

Outward also specializes in detailed 3D scanning, which suggests future applications beyond AR and possibly into customized 3D design.

Augmented reality apps using home decor are becoming a serious trend: From Lowe's to Wayfair to Ikea's augmented app, companies are dipping into AR applications for laying out furniture using phones

Based on my experiences using AR on phones, furniture-shopping tools are easily accessible and actually useful. It's not surprising that more companies are jumping on the bandwagon.

Williams-Sonoma and Outward did not immediately respond to a request for comment.