Co-Designing Novel Interior Design Services that Utilise Augmented Reality: A Case Study

Co-Designing Novel Interior Design Services that Utilise Augmented Reality: A Case Study

Tiina Kymäläinen (VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland – Tampere, Finland) and Sanni Siltanen (VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland – Espoo, Finland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4490-8.ch025


In this chapter, the authors describe a co-design process and the implementation requirements of an interactive interior design service system. To gain design information for the system, they study two focus groups composed of designers, bloggers, and serious amateurs in the field of interior design – the estimated critical users of the forthcoming service system. The framework for the co-design study is twofold. The design aim is to study users’ innovation capability in the early phase of a complex process by utilising co-sketching as a means of obtaining a user model of the interactive system. The technological aim is to create interior design concepts that exploit Augmented Reality (AR), 3D models, and user-generated content within the system framework. This chapter reports the design process and results of the co-design sessions; furthermore, it presents requirements for the system, use cases utilising AR technology, plus consideration and evaluation of the AR functionalities.
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Key Technology: Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is defined as an interactive real-time system that combines real and virtual elements in 3D (Azuma, et al., 2001). Virtual reality (VR) consists only of virtual elements. Diminished reality is a system where objects are removed from the real environment, and mediated reality refers to a system where real environment is altered virtually (Mann, 2002). Mixed reality (MR) is a concept that covers all possible combinations of real and virtual elements, from reality to total virtuality (Milgram, Takemura, Utsumi & Kishino, 1994). From the user’s point of view, the functionalities of a system are more important than the technology categorisation. “The basis in all the discussions was an AR system in which real images are augmented with virtual objects. However, in sessions the discussion was open to all forms of combination and alteration of real and virtual elements, including all the above-mentioned technologies –we used the term AR for simplicity, though.”

Figure 1.

With a mobile AR application the user can see virtual designs in the real environment


Augmented reality provides a practical visualisation method for purposes where there is a need to enhance the user’s perception. Interior design, in particular, is an application field where the combination of real and virtual benefits the user (Siltanen, 2012). Web-based AR applications – in not requiring installation or downloading – are consumer friendly and can be integrated with social media and web stores. Also, recent mobile devices are equipped with reasonable-sized displays and have a network connection for accessing the Internet. Based on these facts, we selected a web-based AR interior design service as a starting point for the co-design discussions, and presumed that users could augment digital images and operate the system by using a PC or mobile device.

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