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Research Fellows Directory

Alan Chalmers

Professor Alan Chalmers

Research Fellow

Organisation

University of Warwick

Research summary

Decorating a room can be a stressful activity, especially when multiple products, such as tiles, paint, etc are being considered. The key question is “What will the room look like after it is (re) decorated?” Furthermore, a particular concern is: “How will my choice of one product influence another?” Some augmented visualisation applications are already available, but they all fail to address these important customer needs by not using accurate lighting conditions, and certainly not of the room being considered, and not considering the interaction of one virtual product on another. This leads to poor levels of realism and a lack of user faith in the results.

This project will continue to exploit the latest research developments in physically-based rendering and High Dynamic Range (HDR) imaging to accurately simulate the lighting in a virtual view of the real room. The live video stream on the user’s mobile device in the real environment is augmented with the high fidelity results to enable the viewer to consider the proposed (re)decoration in the actual environment with confidence.

What impact could the project deliver?

The market for interior design products is huge, with the UK market for tiles alone valued at over £600 million. Johnson Tiles (the largest remaining UK tile manufacturer) and its partners in the Material Design Resource Centre (Dulux, Tektura and Karndean), struggle to be competitively priced due to stiff competition from cheap overseas imports. The augmented visualisation system on the user’s own mobile device that this project will deliver will address a pressing customer need to visualise, with confidence, the results of a proposed (re)decoration, prior to any work actually taking place. The research will initially consider the interior design products of tiles, paint, wallpaper and vinyl flooring, however the resultant system will be equally applicable to many other products in the interior design market.

Grants awarded

Bespoke High-Fidelity Visualisation for Informed Customer Choice

Scheme: Industry Fellowship

Dates: Sep 2012 - Aug 2016

Value: £198,187

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