July 12, 2012, 11:43 AM

How one app colors users’ views of their homes

Valspar Paint offers live expert consultations via Apple devices.

Lead Photo

A Valspar design consultant displays via an iPad live video app colors she feels best suit a shopper's living room.

Valspar Paint knows it can be tricky to pick colors when painting the interior of a house. Do-it-yourself painters often are unsure when faced with the bounty of choices available. This is where expert advice can come in handy.

And this is where Valspar has stepped into the color equation with a new mobile app for the iPad 2, iPad 3 and iPhone 4S. The app, dubbed ConnectLive from marketing services firm CatapultRPM, links a consumer with one of Valspar’s practiced color consultants via two-way live video. The consumer slowly pans her device around rooms in her house and the consultant displays onscreen colors from Valspar’s palette he thinks would work best.

A consumer downloads the app for free from Apple Inc.’s App Store. Opening the app, she schedules a 30-minute appointment with a Valspar consultant. At that time, the consultant initiates a video link between the two parties to have a conversation about the consumer’s home. A consumer must be linked to the Internet via Wi-Fi on one of the three Apple devices.

After the 30-minute appointment, the do-it-yourself painter receives a summary of all paint colors in a palette created by her consultant. She then can place an order with the consultant and have the paint shipped to her home.

The app is available for free only for a limited time, as yet to be determined. Valspar will charge for the app, though it hasn’t yet fixed a price. It says its research shows that 30 minutes of an interior designer’s time costs on average $75, though that should not necessarily be taken as an indication of the price it will set.

“Valspar is committed to innovation and making it easy for people to incorporate the right colors into their home,” says John Anton, vice president of Valspar consumer marketing. “The ConnectLive app provides professional guidance on paint color selection that is tailored to each person’s space and personal style. This personal consultation tool helps people connect virtually to the power in color, choosing from among thousands of colors to easily transform their homes.”

In addition to Valspar, CatapultRPM’s clients include Capital One, Chiquita Brands LLC, Crayola, Gerber, Hyundai Capital America, Kellogg’s, Mars Chocolate US and Nestlé Health Science.

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