Philips Launches Augmented Reality-Based "TV Buying Guide" App

Posted by Carter Dotson on September 2nd, 2011

When it comes to buying TVs in stores, the problem is naturally that it's difficult to tell how the TV will look where it's actually going to go while in the store. TV manufacturer Philips has made a TV Buying Guide app to help potential TV buyers figure out what Philips TVs will look like in their living room or other space where it will go.

The app uses augmented reality to help users see what the TV will potentially look like where they want it. Users print out an AR marker from the Philips website, and either lay it down flat on the area where the TV will be placed, or put it up on the wall in the area where the TV will be wall-mounted. Then, the user fires up the app and points their camera at the AR marker, and a 3D model of the TV will appear. Users can choose from a variety of Phillips TVs to display, can choose from different sizes of TV to sample, and can even get a sample of how the Philips Ambilight feature would appear in their actual room. A snapshot of the model of the TV in the room can be taken and shared, as well.

This is an example of how augmented reality can be used to benefit both consumers and corporations; users interested in Philips TVs can get a sample of how the TV will look before they buy it. Also, Philips gets to put out an app that could catch some eyeballs and help sell their TVs. It's a win-win situation, and an interesting use of this kind of technology. While the requirement of an AR marker is a hindrance to using the app (and it won't work if the marker is just displayed on an iPad screen, it needs to be printed out on a piece of A4-sized paper), it's still a very inventive use of augmented reality.