For years Auping is selling matrasses and bedding online, but now the bed manufacturer offers the consumer a brand-new tool to design and order custom-made beds.
Customers were already able to create their own bed at the Auping Plaza stores for inspiration, but the company wanted to extent that possibility digitally. Auping found a partner in 3Dimerce, a specialist in 3D product configurators and a company with experience with the configuration of furnished or padded products.
3Dimerce product owner Giovanni Goossens: ‘We have a lot of experience with automatically generating photo-realistic images. Our design tools are unique in the quality of the generated images of the products. Padded products and fabrics are the most difficult to realize. We add little ‘mistakes’ to create a realistic image of these products, for example a wrinkle in the bedding.’
Images of fabric are not the only complex aspect about this tool. Dissecting the Auping products and pinpointing their limits and possibilities is also challenging. The configurator needs to know what changes possible and which consequences are entail those changes. Goossens: ‘Every aspect of every product is analyzed and completely reproduced in 3D, like a digital copy with the corresponding product DNA. This DNA contains the limits of every item: sizes, prices, fabrics, etcetera. Because of this we can create a tool where customers can combine different aspects.’
This ensures that Auping can offer a digital tool where people can construct their own beds, from the legs to the mattress(es) and the headboard. Every aspect then is customizable in color and fabric. Noami Schnuck (Auping): ‘We sell customized products, now also online. We are proud of our designs and need to show this to customers. They have to see it for themselves.’
A billion combinations
It’s the many possibilities that make this tool so hard to build. Goossens: ‘There are a billion unique combinations. Every click generates a (real time) series of matching images, which are directly displayed to the customer.’ Schnuck: ‘When we want to introduce or replace a part of the product, we can integrate this in the tool. We don’t have to throw out or re-do all the images. It is much easier this way. We can keep using, adapting and expanding this configurator.’
For now, Auping wants to keep using this tool the way it is build. The focus lies with optimizing user experience and integrating the tool in the e-commerce platform. Other technologies, like AR or VR, are in the picture, but maybe for in the future.
Auping’s digital design tool will probably go live somewhere next year.