PSFK is excited to have Mikko Martikainen, CEO and Co-founder of Sayduck, as a speaker at PSFK CONFERENCE LONDON. Sayduck’s mobile application leverages augmented reality to enable shoppers to visualize how furniture would look as positioned next to their existing home decor. On September 13th, Mikko will discuss seamlessly integrating augmented reality into all of our e-commerce shopping solutions.
We are interested in the timing that these types of products/technologies come to market. Why is now the right time for an augmented reality e‑commerce solution?
I think that we felt augmented reality is starting to reach a critical mass. Instead of being this kind of gimmicky marketing tool, it is advanced enough to soon be adopted as a mainstream technology. We think the benefits for e‑commerce are obvious because you can actually see the products in your home before you buy them.
I also think a lot of research points to Internet consumption as moving more and more to smart phones and tablets. I believe e‑commerce is transitioning into something where people will make purchasing decisions on these devices more and more. I think that this trend will probably just accelerate in the future.
What is the challenge around integrating augmented reality into an e-commerce solution?
What we want to get away from is talking about too much is augmented reality, because for a lot of people, it still doesn’t really mean anything. We just want to think about the experience and make it more about the products. We don’t want to make this too much of a technology‑driven solution; we want it to be something that’s easy to understand and easy to use.
So technology almost steps aside?
Thinking ahead from today, I see augmented reality as a technology that is everywhere. A world where augmented reality becomes so normal that you almost don’t even think about mixing virtual with real life as part of your experience.
What do you think led you to consider this as a viable opportunity?
I think there are two parts to that. Originally, the idea of augmented reality started as a little bit different a concept. The first idea was for a restaurant. We had this thought of going to a restaurant and having a little marker on the table, which would be similar a menu. You could then take out your smartphone and look through the viewfinder to see all the meal portions in 3D in front of you.
Instead of having to point to other peoples dishes and ask, “What’s that?” you could actually visualize what these portions looked like. It was a fun little demo, but I think that the market wasn’t really big enough.
The concept that evolved from this original idea was based on our own needs. I don’t like going to IKEA or trying to somehow visualize how pieces of furniture cut out from a magazine would look like in my living room.
We started prototyping solutions using augmented reality. All the technology is already in place, and the proliferation of mobile devices is already well established. We did a little bit of guerilla market research, attended a few industry events, furniture industry events, and gathered nothing but positive feedback from retailers and brands.
Your work is embedded in realizing potential futures. What can we expect in years to come?
Possibly, you won’t even have to go to physical stores anymore. The brick and mortar stores become virtual where they almost come to your home by the way of augmented reality. You will someday have glasses with augmented reality functionality and say, “I want to shop for shoes now.” And then, all of a sudden, your home transforms into an augmented shoe shop where you can actually see the products there and then try them out on the spot.
Can you tell us a little more about your role at Sayduck?
I’m a CEO and one of the co‑founders of Sayduck. We’re a relatively young company. We were founded in April and in late May, launched our first co‑branded app with a launch partner, One Nordic Furniture Company. Later in the year, we’re launching Sayduck marketplace, which is a one‑stop‑shop for shopping products from multiple retailers and brands.
At the moment, we’re in the final stages of doing two more co‑branded apps. Our whole approach is that in the short-term, we’ll do more co‑branded apps. That way, we’ll get a lot of the product into our back-end system. Later, when we launch the Sayduck marketplace, we will hopefully have a substantial amount of retailers and branders already involved.
Come see Mikko discuss the future of e-commerce and augmented reality at PSFK CONFERENCE LONDON on September 13th.