John Lewis supports mixed-reality design tool

Manchester-based mixed-reality company Digital Bridge has secured a major investment from UK retailer John Lewis.

The startup’s virtual design tool uses computer vision and machine learning to allow consumers to virtually redecorate their own home.

According to the company, the tool helps to bridge the “imagination gap” that occurs when customers delay purchases because they can’t visualise how something will look in their home.

Digital Bridge was recently named partners’ choice at John Lewis’s ‘JLAB’ accelerator awards in London, and was granted £100,000 after impressing senior executives with the commercial potential of its product.

The investment follows a successful trial with John Lewis as part of the accelerator programme, Digital Bridge said. In a bank holiday weekend trial at John Lewis’ Cheadle department store, the tool received positive feedback from customers and boosted wallpaper sales.

The tool, which can be integrated into a retailer’s own website, allows customers to place products within an image of their own rooms, allowing them to see how products will look before making a purchase decision.

Digital Bridge chief executive David Levine explained how he came up with the concept:

“I came home from work one day and my wife held up two small samples of wallpaper and asked me which one I thought looked best.

“I couldn’t decide because I couldn’t imagine what they would look like up on the wall. I thought I couldn’t be the only person who has this problem so I started to design the app to solve it.”

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