The purchase of goods has changed drastically over the past decade, especially over the period of the pandemic. Although with these online purchases comes a drawback, the buyer can not see the product in front of them before buying it. This adds an element of uncertainty and undesirability to online shopping as this can cost the consumer time and the seller money in processing returns, in fact, a study showed that up to 40% of all online purchases are returned, and out of those returned items just 30% were resold to customers, with the rest going to landfills or other warehouses.
With this app, we hope to reduce the number of returns by putting the object the user wants to buy in front of them before they buy it so that they know exactly what they are getting.
What it does
Say you are looking to buy a tv but are not sure if it will fit or how it will look in your home. You would be able to open the Ecomerce ARena Android app and browse the TVs on Amazon(since that's where you were planning to buy the TV from anyways). You can see all the info that Amazon has on the TV but then also use AR mode to view the TV in real life.
How we built it
To build the app we used Unity, coding everything within the engine using C#. We used the native AR foundation function provided and then built upon them to get the app to work just right. We also incorporated EchoAr into the app to manage all 3d models and ensure the app is lean and small in size.
Challenges we ran into
Augmented Reality development was new to all of us as well as was the Unity engine, having to learn and harness the power of these tools was difficult and we ran into a lot of problems building and getting the desired outcome. Another problem was how to get the models for each different product, we decided for this Hackathon to limit our scope to two types of products with the ability to keep adding more in the future easily.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are really proud of the final product for being able to detect surfaces and use the augmented reality capabilities super well. We are also really happy that we were able to incorporate web scraping to get live data from Amazon, as well as the echo AR cloud integration.
What we learned
We learned a great deal about how much work and how truly amazing it is to get augmented reality applications built even for those who look simple on the surface. There was a lot that changed quickly as this is still a new bleeding-edge technology.
What's next for Ecommerce ARena
We hope to expand its functionality to cover a greater variety of products, as well as supporting other vendors aside from Amazon such as Best Buy and Newegg. We can also start looking into the process for releasing the app into the Google app store, might even look into porting it to Apple products.