School of Science and Technology 科技學院
Computing Programmes 電腦學系

Furnish-It-Yourself: A Mobile Furnishing Simulator with Augmented Reality

Lee Chung Yin

ProgrammeBachelor of Science with Honours in Computing
SupervisorMr. Kevin Tse
AreasSmart Living
Year of Completion2015
AwardsSecond Runner-Up, IEEE HK Section Student Paper Competition 2015
Third-Class Prize, National Challenge Cup 2015

Objectives

The aim of this project is developing a home solution to help furniture buyers evaluate which furniture fits their home style at home and provide a real-like furnishing experience. This project will develop an AR furnishing mobile application. This application focuses on helping furniture buyers to foresee the furnishing effect. Users can get a concrete view of the effect before buying furniture. The details as follows:

  • Develop a model positioning handler
  • Design and develop an user-friendly user interface.
  • Implement social feature.
  • Develop a lighting system.

Background and Methodology

This project is a mobile furnishing simulator, it was chosen to implement in Android platform. The application requires using camera in order to interact with the reality.

Users can avoid the inconvenience of using a dedicated marker such as download, print and bring by using user-defined marker recognition. In this application, there are few requirements to papers to become markers. The requirements are listed below:

Basic requirements:

  • A4 size
  • No repeated pattern
  • High contrast Advance requirement:
  • Long distance identifiable Detail

Advance requirement:

  • Long distance identifiable Detail

User can define his/her own marker. A marker object will be defined in Unity at first. After users took a picture to what they want to be the marker, the picture will be checked by the application. If the picture is passed, it will be assigned to be the marker object. Otherwise users need to choose another object as the marker and repeat the flow above.

After starting the application, users need to perform marker recognition at least once time, they can still perform the recognition afterwards in order to change the marker.

Lighting effect is one of the ways to make augmented objects look realistic. The appearance of objects in physical environment will be affected by the physical light source, such as lighter and projecting shadow. But the augmented objects are not affected by it, so those objects will look odd.

To tackle this problem, a light optimization panel is provided to user to make change to the virtual light source and simulate the physical lighting effect. The light optimization of this application includes adjusting the light color, brightness and the light direction.

There are six related features to assist the furnishing process which are furniture menu, furniture positioning tool, extended tracking, multiple models, view in different perspectives and model in real size.

If users are allowed to view the furniture pieces in single viewpoint only, there will be no different from watching a furniture photo. Allowing user to view in different viewpoint is the direct way to help them get an all-rounded idea of the furniture. User can simply walk around the models to view in different viewpoints.

It is important to show the furniture models in real size in order to let the users know how big the furniture pieces actually are. The size of furniture models in the augmented view is scaled according to their measurement information. The following testing illustrates the how long does the 45cm width of a chair model will be showed in the augmented view with different marker recognition situation.

After the positioning furniture models, users may want to gather some opinions to the furnishing effects. But it is hard to tell the effect to others, a built-in sharing function may help to share the augmented view to social networking website – Facebook.

Evaluation

A questionnaire has been set up, all the sampling conditions are all followed by the evaluation plan in methodology except the number of samples are 89 not 70. Before they answer the questionnaire, they listened to the introduction and aims of this application and used this application successfully “put” at least one furniture model into the augmented view.

Nearly 85% of interviewees they are either agree or strongly agree that they can understand the real shape and size of a furniture piece through this application. Shape and size are the most common concerns when choosing furniture. The results show that using augmented reality is effective to provide information on these two concerns especially the shape. However, around 10% of people think that the application cannot help in understanding the size of furniture piece.

Nearly 85% of interviewees agree that the furniture positioning experience of this application is real enough. The result shows that the types of positioning operations in this application are “real”, users can do what they can do in the reality. Around 10% of them are neutral, they mention that the positioning operations are real but lacking of “real feeling”.

Conclusion and Future Development

providing a real-like furnishing experience. A good simulation should stick to the reality. Allowing user to perform real actions in the simulation is a direct way to make the simulation suit users and become more realistic. A group of positioning feature is provided to allow user to perform real positioning operations. The second one is foreseeing the furnishing effect at home. Everyone can go to furniture shops in order to browse and evaluate whether a furniture piece is fit his/her home or not. But it is very inconvenient as it is hard to know whether a furniture piece fits their home when they are far away from home. An augmented view will be provided to users to “see” the furniture models at home.

Copyright Lee Chung Yin and Kevin Tse 2015

Jonathan Chiu
Marketing Director
3DP Technology Limited

Jonathan handles all external affairs include business development, patents write up and public relations. He is frequently interviewed by media and is considered a pioneer in 3D printing products.

Krutz Cheuk
Biomedical Engineer
Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital

After graduating from OUHK, Krutz obtained an M.Sc. in Engineering Management from CityU. He is now completing his second master degree, M.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering, at CUHK. Krutz has a wide range of working experience. He has been with Siemens, VTech, and PCCW.

Hugo Leung
Software and Hardware Engineer
Innovation Team Company Limited

Hugo Leung Wai-yin, who graduated from his four-year programme in 2015, won the Best Paper Award for his ‘intelligent pill-dispenser’ design at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering’s International Conference on Consumer Electronics – China 2015.

The pill-dispenser alerts patients via sound and LED flashes to pre-set dosage and time intervals. Unlike units currently on the market, Hugo’s design connects to any mobile phone globally. In explaining how it works, he said: ‘There are three layers in the portable pillbox. The lowest level is a controller with various devices which can be connected to mobile phones in remote locations. Patients are alerted by a sound alarm and flashes. Should they fail to follow their prescribed regime, data can be sent via SMS to relatives and friends for follow up.’ The pill-dispenser has four medicine slots, plus a back-up with a LED alert, topped by a 500ml water bottle. It took Hugo three months of research and coding to complete his design, but he feels it was worth all his time and effort.

Hugo’s public examination results were disappointing and he was at a loss about his future before enrolling at the OUHK, which he now realizes was a major turning point in his life. He is grateful for the OUHK’s learning environment, its industry links and the positive guidance and encouragement from his teachers. The University is now exploring the commercial potential of his design with a pharmaceutical company. He hopes that this will benefit the elderly and chronically ill, as well as the society at large.

Soon after completing his studies, Hugo joined an automation technology company as an assistant engineer. He is responsible for the design and development of automation devices. The target is to minimize human labor and increase the quality of products. He is developing products which are used in various sections, including healthcare, manufacturing and consumer electronics.

Course CodeTitleCredits
 COMP S321FAdvanced Database and Data Warehousing5
 COMP S333FAdvanced Programming and AI Algorithms5
 COMP S351FSoftware Project Management5
 COMP S362FConcurrent and Network Programming5
 COMP S363FDistributed Systems and Parallel Computing5
 COMP S382FData Mining and Analytics5
 COMP S390FCreative Programming for Games5
 COMP S492FMachine Learning5
 ELEC S305FComputer Networking5
 ELEC S348FIOT Security5
 ELEC S371FDigital Forensics5
 ELEC S431FBlockchain Technologies5
 ELEC S425FComputer and Network Security5
 Course CodeTitleCredits
 ELEC S201FBasic Electronics5
 IT S290FHuman Computer Interaction & User Experience Design5
 STAT S251FStatistical Data Analysis5
 Course CodeTitleCredits
 COMPS333FAdvanced Programming and AI Algorithms5
 COMPS362FConcurrent and Network Programming5
 COMPS363FDistributed Systems and Parallel Computing5
 COMPS380FWeb Applications: Design and Development5
 COMPS381FServer-side Technologies and Cloud Computing5
 COMPS382FData Mining and Analytics5
 COMPS390FCreative Programming for Games5
 COMPS413FApplication Design and Development for Mobile Devices5
 COMPS492FMachine Learning5
 ELECS305FComputer Networking5
 ELECS363FAdvanced Computer Design5
 ELECS425FComputer and Network Security5