Changing everyday life with technology!

What if you could try out new furniture without moving your old one? A creative collaboration between Space10 & Strømlin

Introduction 

SPACE10 is an independent research and design lab and part of the IKEA Group. The lab’s work is dedicated solely to support IKEA to continually deliver on its promise of creating a better everyday life for people and the planet. Its approach is collaborative, striving to engage and work together with a broad diversity of skilled professionals and forward-thinking specialists, to identify real human challenges and present the best possible solutions. Sharing all research and ideas publicly.

A spot-on match for us at Strømlin and our mission to create efficient solutions by creatively connecting leading edge technology with human and business driven needs. That is what we call HumanTechnology - https://www.stromlin.dk/agency/.  

Challenge

At Strømlin, we were invited to be a technology development partner in SPACE10’s Everyday Experiments and the project Room Editor. Everyday Experiments is the umbrella for SPACE10’s ongoing series of digital experiments with IKEA, which challenges the role of technology in the home. Watch the Everyday Experiment’s movie https://www.everydayexperiments.com/.

The initial challenge posed to us as a member of the Room Editor working group:

  • What if you could try out new furniture, without moving your old one?

Solution

The project team was put together with our own CTO Anton Stonor alongside Alonso Holmes (USA), a dream team for cutting-edge technology development and creativity. To get the ball rolling, we completed a three-week sprint to align ourselves with the given challenge and project execution.

What we built is a technical prototype, using AI and AR technology, in which you can temporarily "erase" a piece of furniture in your home, and then switch it out with a brand new replacement, for easy visualisation of what the new piece would look like without physically touching the old one.

A key source of inspiration in our development was apps like Photoshop and Instagram and their intuitive user experience. The user simply "colours in" the area (i.e. furniture) they would like to erase and replace with a different furniture. Watch the Room Editor movie https://www.everydayexperiments.com/room-editor.

From a technological perspective, this project and solution allowed us to experiment further with AI in a collaborative setup. We combined AR and ARKit 3 with a generative machine learning model called EdgeConnect (an image inpainting model) to simulate the ability to remove existing objects in an image and place realistic-looking models in their spot.

Result
With one of SPACE10’s success criteria of wanting to involve people from around the world on a collaborative platform, creating and sharing, the first reports from SPACE10 are very encouraging. We have seen 152,800+ website page views and more than 208 press/media hits, all from Russia to Thailand, Brazil to China, US to Hungary, UK to Turkey, and many more places, Everyday Experiments have been covered across the globe, near and far.

Another success criteria for the Room Editor project was to demonstrate and document this state of AI as technology, assessing the quality, viability and allow ourself immersiveness in the innovative process. This has been achieved with the initial prototype delivered.

This continues to be an awesome project for us at Strømlin because it has allowed us to experiment further with AI and other technologies. Our collaborative setup with SPACE10 and IKEA Group is a rewarding and innovative partnership, which has been enriched with our many fellow partners: FIELD.IO, Bakken & Bæck, Random Studio, Alonso Holmes, CIRG, ManvsMachine, Norgram, Amos Timi Oyedeji, Set Snail and Philip Pries Henningsen.

 

Facts

Client: SPACE10 and IKEA Group - http://space10.com.
Case: Room Editor project https://www.everydayexperiments.com/room-editor
Industry: Research and design lab
Launch: April 2020
Technologies: Artificial intelligence (AI), Augmented reality (AR), Generative machine learning.

 

Do you have ideas that needs to be explored?

This particular project is a good example of an explorative approach with several partners involved for a 3 week sprint ending in technical prototype. At Strømlin we love exploring tech opportunities - especially when AI, automation or data is involved. If you want to hear more, then reach out to Peter Marius Stampe, +45 23 44 89 84.