In its second-largest acquisition, Amazon buys the company for $970 million.
Its new mobile app lets shoppers view how blinds will look on their windows.
Most shoppers have to rely on imagining how well blinds will look hanging in windows in their houses when they shop for window coverings. A new mobile app from Blinds.com, which sells window treatments, could make that task a little easier with help from augmented reality technology. Augmented reality enables consumers to change imagery or see information projected onto a phone’s display using a smartphone’s camera.
The free iPhone app, dubbed The Window Shopper, enables a shopper to take a picture of a window in her home and use it from within the app to view how a blind would appear. It works like this. The shopper opens the app and taps the Try It Now button, which activates the phone’s camera. The shopper lines up the camera to snap a photo of the window. Then, a blue tinted box with a circle on each corner appears on the photo. The shopper adjusts the size of the box to match the size of the window in the photo.
When satisfied, the shopper taps Done, which triggers a rotating display at the bottom edge of the photo that contains window cover samples. A simple swipe slides a sample across the window. The app automatically resizes the sample to match the window opening. Shoppers can save multiple images as samples. To order, the shopper taps Order My Samples from the app’s home page, selects the items and completes a form to get free samples.
“The concern we hear most often is, ‘I don’t know what the blinds will look like,’” a Blinds.com spokeswoman says. “The Window Shopper app eliminates that worry completely.”
The app also enables shoppers who have a Blinds.com e-commerce account to synchronize their samples to that account and to share their selections via e-mail and on Facebook.
The Window Shopper app should be available for Android smartphones in the first quarter of 2012, Blinds.com says.