June 2, 2011, 12:04 PM

A mobile app lets shoppers picture web-based art in their own homes

OverstockArt.com deploys augmented reality, which can give consumers added confidence to buy.

Lead Photo

The augmented reality app lets shoppers see how artwork would look in their homes or offices.

OverstockArt.com is making it simpler for consumers to imagine how a piece of art might look on their walls by incorporating augmented reality technology into a free mobile app for Apple Inc.’s iPhone and iPod Touch.

Augmented reality technology enables consumers to change imagery or see information projected onto a phone’s display using a smartphone’s camera. Augmented reality can help give a shopper the confidence to complete a purchase, mobile experts say, by showing her what a product would look like in her home, or, in the case of apparel, on her figure.

OverstockArt.com’s use of the technology enables an iPhone user to take a picture of a wall and then select a piece of art from the company’s inventory to position on the image, letting a consumer see how the art would look on his own wall. “Now you can buy art for your favorite room without ever having to leave it,” says David Sasson, OverstockArt.com CEO. OverstockArt.com sells handmade reproductions of famous oil paintings by the likes of Picasso, Van Gogh and Klimt.

OverstockArt.com’s e-commerce site already has this capability, but requires users to upload their images from a computer. The mobile app simplifies the process by relying on the iPhone’s camera.

To use the mobile app’s augmented reality feature, a shopper selects the View In Room button in the app, which activates the phone’s camera. When satisfied with the image, the consumer snaps a photo. She then can move the desired art across the screen to gauge the appropriate location. Shoppers can select art based on size, subject, style and artist.


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