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Grafenia claims world-first with AR app

Grafenia has unveiled what it says is the world’s first augmented reality (AR) mobile application for fabric displays.

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The new BeholdAR app is compatible with both modern iPads and iPhones

Developed by the team of Nettl ‘Geeks’, BeholdAR works on modern iPhones and iPads, and enables users to virtualise fabric exhibition displays and personalised furniture before production. 

Users of the first version of BeholdAR will be able to view 3D models of some of the most popular fabric displays sold through Nettl neighbourhood web studios and printing.com stores. This expansive range includes both curved and straight displays, deckchairs, booths and cocktail tables.

Peter Gunning, chief executive of Grafenia, outlines the key benefits of this new technology, and explains how it can help print companies enhance their fabric and textile print offerings.

“This technology helps our clients see what fabric displays look like in their own offices or stores,” Gunning says, adding: “Seeing photos of these displays just doesn’t do them justice. So we started developing BeholdAR in the summer and are delighted to launch version 1.0 today.”

This technology helps our clients see what fabric displays look like in their own offices or stores

The app is simple to operate; first, users carry out a few scans of a room to allow the app to learn the different surfaces. Then, users can press the ‘plus’ button to see a list of available models, select the one they want and “position” it in the room by twisting with their fingers.

“You really can personalise anything these days,” Gunning says, adding: “Floors, ceilings, walls and windows. If it’s a surface, it can be branded. Folk can use our app to see how a booth would fit, without having to get out the measuring tape.

“You can actually walk around the display. See it from all angles. Point your device up, point it down. The detail is incredible.”

Gunning went on to say that the initial collection of models featured on the first version of the app will be expanded to further support users.

You really can personalise anything these days

“Building the models themselves was a bit of a challenge; we’ve hired people who normally design objects and environments for computer video games,” he explains, adding: “I suppose a deckchair is pretty similar to a Pokemon and a fabric booth nearly the same as a car in Grand Theft Auto?

“We had been building out the models to help clients with proofing their fabric displays. It’s actually pretty hard for a client to visualise flat panels on, say, a printed cocktail table. It’s much easier for them to see their artwork on a 3D model. And we thought, ‘what if we took this further?’”

To run the app, users need iOS 11.0 or later installed on a device that works with ARKit—which includes modern iPads and an iPhone 6S or later.

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