Shopify demos Apple's RoomPlan, strips all furniture from room

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Canada-based ecommerce site Shopify has demonstrated an unexpected use of Apple's RoomPlan API to clear a room before filling it with furniture via Apple AR.

Apple announced RoomPlan at WWDC 2022, but by itself this AR technology will not be any Apple app. Instead, RoomPlan is an API that developers can tap into in order to provide its features as part of their own apps.

It's been anticipated that retailers could use the RoomPlan API in order to show customers what particular items of, say, furniture would look like in their home. Ikea has already been doing this since shortly after Apple announced ARKit in 2017, but RoomPlan leverages the newer LiDAR technology.

Now Shopify has demonstrated one way that it may adopt the API within its own furniture shopping app. As well as letting people see what a couch might look like over by the window, though, it can also strip the room clean so users can start with a clean slate.

In further tweets, Shopify's Russ Maschmeyer calls the feature a "Space Eraser," and describes it as a "reset button."

"Space Eraser models spaces in high-fidelity," he continued, "capturing room-defining objects, their size, position, orientation..."

"Live pixel data combines with LiDAR depth data to enable a lifelike digital twin of your room that can be overlaid onto your real space using AR and then edited digitally," said Maschmeyer. "With an empty room, shoppers can now swipe through room sets which leverage the orientation of existing furniture to arrange themselves automatically."

Shopify's demo is not a finished app, and the company has not announced when it will be shipping.