This startup has developed special scanning and ‘projective overlay’ technology which enables realistic visual motifs and patterns to be projected on to the surface of a real world piece of furniture, perfectly fitting the contours. This enables a customer to visualise the entire range of available patterns and textures just by touching the basic model.

Firms in the furnishing and decoration business need to be able to provide theircustomers with easy access to their full range of stock. To achieve this, even Smallretailers are now increasingly using tablets and Internet-connected booths. This is whatthe French furnishings company But is doing, both in its traditional stores and in itsBut Cosy shops – mini versions of But for smaller towns. Another idea is to project onto one object the entire range on offer. This is the approach taken by IMCOM, a Turkishstartup founded two years ago, which unveiled its technologies at Startup Turkey,held on 15-17 February in Antalya. L'Atelier caught up with them there. The fledglingcompany’s ‘projective overlay technology’ is able to project various colours, patternsand textures with great precision on to, for example, a real armchair.

3D and tactile

How it works is that IMCOM 3D Scanning Technology is used to scan the basic physicalmodel on to which the virtual designs will be projected and then the entire range of materials and patterns offered by a manufacturer or retailer is scanned. When projectedon to the physical model, the various patterns and textures then fit the object perfectly.Moreover, “IMCOM Interactions Technology enables interaction with real world objectsthrough physical contact, i.e. by touching them. You don’t need any PC peripherals likekeyboard, mouse or monitor to interact with an object you have scanned using IMCOM 3D Scanning Technology,” point out the IMCOM team. When you touch the armchair,seat, sofa or whatever, you will see a programme displayed and then all you have todo is touch one of the patterns in the range in order to see it projected. The process isbased on gesture recognition technology. "People want to be able to see and touch whatthey’re buying, and when they go to a smaller shop today, they generally don’t have theopportunity to do so," Ali Cevik, IMCOM Chief Technology Officer explained to L'Atelier.

There aint nothing like the real thing

But why is the company betting on projection technology rather than using screen-based visualisation? “Because the real world is still very important, and sometimes it’sa lot more meaningful to see and touch, rather than to look at images, even if they arevery good ones,” argue Ali Cevik and his colleagues. So far the founders have beenconcentrating on developing and refining the process and they have not yet gone outlooking for customers. “We will have finished pilot testing in three months’ time and thenwe’ll start prospecting for customers, in Turkey and abroad,” vows Ali Cevik. IMCOMrecently participated in a government-backed mission to Silicon Valley, where the teamapparently impressed leading electric vehicles manufacturer Tesla Motors with theirinnovative approach.

By Mathilde Cristiani
Head of Media