“RUBICON stands out for its flexibility. We started out with a blank piece of paper but they weren’t intimidated by not having worked on a project like this before, or by the anticipated difficulties. They were simply willing to do it. I liked the spirit and the project turned out well because of it.”
(Kenny Van Halderen, CCO & Founder of Gazzda)
In 2017, two local Bosnian companies teamed up to bring a brilliant idea to life that could transform the retail industry. Software development company RUBICON and furniture brand Gazzda both recognized the potential of combining their expertise to make one powerful product--an AR mobile app. Aside from the iconic brand IKEA, Gazzda was one of the first furniture brands worldwide to introduce AR to the furniture industry. RUBICON and Gazzda paired up to build a powerful AR mobile app that makes shopping for the perfect piece of furniture both fun and easy.
Who is Gazzda?
Gazzda is an authentic and minimalistic furniture brand born and raised in Sarajevo, Bosnia. In 2013, Gazzda was established emphasizing their motto “coming home.” Since home is such a special and cozy place, Gazzda’s goal is to build extraordinary furniture for customers’ homes making it a place they can flourish, snooze and simply come home to.
With augmented reality mobile apps growing worldwide and new technologies enabling their development, RUBICON and Gazzda decided to create a mobile app making furniture shopping a fun experience from the taps of a mobile device.
What is it?
Gazzda’s augmented reality mobile application allows you to place award-winning furniture pieces wherever and however you’d like in the space of your own choice. You can play around with different combinations, sizes, colours, angles and positions until you get your custom look. The app helps users create the ideal living space and then helps them locate and contact a dealer to purchase the chosen furniture.
How does it work?
Download the application for free, scan the space around you using your device and place Gazzda’s furniture wherever and however you’d like it to look in your chosen space--it’s that simple.
The mobile app allows you to:
Even though the mobile app is super simple to use, the process of developing a fully functional and user-friendly app was not so simple. RUBICON overcame the following challenges when building the app:
Operating new technology in an upcoming field
Both the ARKit for iOS and ARCore for Android were brand new to the field of software development. The frameworks were created for developers to be able to build augmented reality apps. RUBICON toyed around with both kits learning the ins and outs of both frameworks before becoming experts and being able to start the development of the mobile app. With both frameworks being new and barely tested from other users, it was a challenge to learn how to become an expert within this domain. In the end, RUBICON’s developers conquered both frameworks and used them to make a functional mobile app for customers to use.
Rendering realistic-looking furniture models
One challenge during the development process was how to feature realistic models of the furniture on the mobile app. For the iOS version of the app, RUBICON used the rendering engine SceneKit and for the Android version, Unity was used. By using two different rendering engines, the developers had to come up with a custom solution where the end product needed to look and feel the same on different platforms. On Android, the challenge was also creating a communication bridge between embedded Unity and Android UI to get the best of both worlds. The goal was to provide users with realistic models of furniture that would not take up too much memory and appear the same on both versions of the app.
Building a seamless user experience
One of the main goals of the mobile app was for users to be able to easily place, rotate and move the furniture without any confusion. The challenge was how to communicate to the user how to simply play around with the furniture creating their ideal space. The solution the developers discovered was to add shadows and hovering movements to the furniture so the user could tell when the furniture was ready to be placed and how to place it properly and in the space of their choice.
To create an interactive experience of a real-world environment
Another UX/UI challenge was to make the app a quality interactive experience for users to perceive it as a real space with real furniture so they feel like they’re placing Gazzda’s furniture in their own home. The mobile application had to be designed to look high-end, minimalistic and aesthetic matching Gazzda’s brand.
The software development process started off with Gazzda and RUBICON pairing up and running a design sprint to validate the idea of the mobile app. The five-day sprint was successful and allowed for both teams to start working on the app.
RUBICON started the development process with a team of two developers, a product owner and one UX/UI designer. The process was broken down into two-week sprints where the tasks for each sprint were carefully planned and then by the end of the sprint the updates were presented to Gazzda. First, the iOS mobile application was launched in January 2018 and afterwards the Android application in April 2018. The mobile app is present both in the App Store and Google Play for users to download for free and start testing out Gazzda furniture in their homes.
With the use of trending technology and an organized development process, a mobile app was created offering users a unique experience.
Due to Gazzda AR Interior Design furniture shopping has become fun and easy. Users are able to furnish their homes by testing out Gazzda’s quality and aesthetic furniture in their own homes and then find a dealer that is close by to purchase the pieces. Gazzda and RUBICON paired up creating an innovative and successful mobile application.
Fun fact: Today, RUBICON’s office features Gazzda’s minimalistic but cozy furniture making the office space comfortable and home-like. Our team loves it!
Company name: Gazzda
Region: Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Project Duration: 2017-2018
Project: Mobile application