Amazon brings augmented reality feature AR View to Amazon app

The in-app feature, built using Apple's ARKit, lets users visualize items inside their homes before making a purchase.

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Amazon is leveraging the capabilities in Apple's ARKit for its new augmented reality feature in the Amazon app. The ecommerce giant on Wednesday announced the launch of AR View, an in-app feature that lets users visualize items inside their homes before making a purchase.

To use the feature, shoppers click on the camera icon in the Amazon app and choose AR View. From there, shoppers can choose from a selection of products, ranging from home decor to electronics, and then overlay an image of the product onto their existing living space.

Like similar recent AR implementations in retail, Amazon's AR View feature is closely tied to Apple's ARKit and the industry-wide push in the tech space to make augmented reality mainstream.

Apple unveiled ARKit in June at its WWDC conference. The platform, designed to be part of iOS 11, aims to take Apple's installed iPhone base and enable developers to create augmented reality apps. Several retailers, including Build.com, Houzz, Wayfair, Lowe's and Overstock.com, have announced new AR apps for Apple's latest operating system.

The common thread through all of the apps is an effort to solve problems posed by visualization. Consumers today have plenty of shopping tools at their disposal, but the ability to make informed purchasing decisions can still be a challenge. AR technologies could reduce confusion and encourage sales, or so the theory goes.

AR View in the Amazon app will only work on the iPhone 6S or higher, on devices running Apple's latest mobile operating system.

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