Furniture shopping comes in two categories: utilitarian need, and aesthetic want. If your habits tend to the latter, ensuring that side table goes with the rug can be a bit of a risk, or at least an elaborate dance of sample materials sent through the mail over weeks. But Amazon's new Showroom gives you a virtual space for some comparison shopping through the retailer's voluminous electronic shelves. Okay, so it's not quite as cool as Amazon's AR View, or IKEA Place's actual augmented reality showroom, but it's still a decent way to design a pineapple-themed room.
The launch of Showroom doesn't come via an actual announcement, TechCrunch spotted it yesterday and confirmed its availability with an Amazon spokesperson following an earlier test. Allegedly the new functionality is live on both Amazon's site (desktop and mobile) as well as Amazon's app, but we're unable to trigger it in the latter. When it appears, it's supposed to be in the "Home & Kitchen" section of the app, though we can't find it. Outside the app, you can try it out by simply visiting amazon.com/showroom in your browser.
Clicking around the virtual room allows you to select items of furniture inside it (even including the rug and art on the wall) seeing both details in a description and the item's pricing in a "view details" tab. You can cycle through different options by scrolling down in the "swap product" tab, and all the items in your room are visible in the — you guessed it — "in-room items" tab. Click the wall or floor to change paint, carpets, and hardwood colors, and you can save rooms once you're happy with them, as well as load them again later. If and when you decide to buy anything, "Add to cart" buttons are prominently featured and easily located.
The site is even a nicely responsive design, reconfiguring its layout based on the size and orientation of the window. So if there's more vertical space than horizontal, that tabbed navigation section will move down below the room preview. We'll have to wait and see what it looks like in the Amazon app.
So far you just get the one living room setting, and most of the items you can select from seem to be from Amazon's in-house brands. But if you're looking to redecorate, and you prefer to get your furniture from Amazon, the new tool can help visualize how different things look with each other. You know, that rug really tied the room together.