Size: 133 MB
Developer: Sirvo LLC
Platform: iPhone and iPad
Augmented Reality (AR) is a hugely impressive technology with lots of different uses. So far, however, most of the demonstrations and much of the excitement around it has focused on games.
Housecraft shows just how helpful AR can be in everyday life. It’s designed to help you to remodel your home, or any other indoor space, without having to actually move furniture around before you know how it will look. Through the magic of AR, Housecraft can place items in a room — once you’ve told it the dimensions of the lounge chair, coffee table, sofa or whatever else you want to add — and show you how it will look and whether it will fit.
A swipe of your finger on the screen of your iPhone or iPad and the piece of furniture can be rotated or moved. Without you having to break a sweat.
The furniture you place in the room comes from a library of 3D models within the app so you can’t just add that cool desk you spotted in the thrift store down the street. That’s fine if you’re thinking of splashing out on, say, a replica Eames lounge chair, not so great if you want to see how the antique dresser left to you in your aunt’s will is going to look in your dining room.
The ability to resize items in the library does at least allow you to find a close approximation to a real world piece and match its dimensions. It might not have the exact chaise lounge you’ve had your eye on, but it might have something close enough to help decide if you even need a chaise lounge.
In use, we found Housecraft to be lots of fun. You can even record video of the object in place in your room, as you walk around it or view it from different angles. However, the limited number of pieces in its library makes it less useful than it might be. We also found that manipulating small items like plants or a shelf was tricky, and it seemed to drain our iPhone 6’s battery alarmingly quickly.
Nevertheless, Housecraft did a great job of scanning our room and allowing us to place and re-size furniture within it. The models aren’t photorealistic, but they look fine on an iPhone screen. And the shadows do a good job of matching perspective, making it easier to place objects. At the very least it will give you an idea if that easy chair you’re thinking of buying will fit in the corner or how that new rug will look between the sofa and TV.
There are a handful of similar apps available – most notably IKEA Place – but if you wish to avoid the flat-pack behemoth this is a great alternative. If you have even the slightest home design ambitions (and a device that supports ARKit) Housecraft is definitely worth a shot.
- Easy to place furniture in a room
- Can resize objects
- Screen video recording
- Placing small objects is tricky
- Resource hungry
- Limited number of items in library