Furniture has been a part of human civilisation since time immemorial. From the time the civilisations decided to stop being nomadic and settle in one place, a simple chair or a bed with four legs set the tone for the importance of furniture in centuries to come. Started as a necessity, soon furniture became a tool to express ideas and authority. Unlike regular court men, the throne of a king was meant to be a grand seat with pompous decorations. With time, the methodologies employed to design and manufacture world-class furniture have evolved and continuous upgrades are a part of the journey.
Technology in Furniture Manufacturing and Design
Gone are the days of mundane designs and repetitive patterns. Apart from the comfort component, the new-age consumers are also overtly aware of the aesthetics and design of the furniture and this is where the technology comes into the picture. Major technologies affecting the design and manufacturing of furniture are 3D modelling, virtual reality, augmented reality and touch commerce among others.
3D Modelling - 3D or three-dimensional modelling is a way of designing furniture models virtually before they are actually constructed on the ground. This technique allows the designers to have a look at the final piece beforehand. Whenever furniture is designed, a virtual prototype allows the designers to test, experiment and alter the design as per the consumers’ specific demands. The aesthetics, colour, positioning, load-bearing capacity and texture can be experienced beforehand.
Augmented Reality (AR) - The Augmented reality is not only used in high-end cameras and video games played on a mobile phone. This is a revolutionising technology for the furniture industry where the designers and manufacturers can superimpose virtual objects in real environments. Here, augmented reality applications serve, above all, to place the desired objects in a real space, giving a better sense of scale, design, colour, and how the ambience will look after furniture placement.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) - In furniture design, AI is used in the concept of generative design. This innovative strategy enhances human resources by using algorithms to automate design logic. The system control can formulate thousands of iterations, on predefined parameters and orders pre-established by the consumer, to arrive at the most appropriate design solutions. In simpler words, the technique uses Generative Design to assimilate the possibilities of the machine's 3D printer with various tests of shapes and design possibilities using minimal parameters.
Virtual Reality (VR) - Virtual reality is a technological advancement that comes with the feature of experiencing the comfort of the furniture virtually. Generally used with an eye device, the VR allows a customer to actually feel the furniture and its comfort virtually. The customers can experience the comfort in a pseudo-real form and recommend changes if there are any. It is a much-appreciated technology for the furniture industry as it keeps the possibility of incorporating good or bad experiences into furniture design and manufacturing.
Technological Upgrades in Furniture Marketing
In an era massively controlled by mobile and computers, traditional marketing methods have little impact. With mobile being the future, furniture companies across the world are investing in high-end mobile applications and websites so that the tech-savvy consumer can look, sort, segregate, filter and buy the furniture of their choice at their fingertips. On the one side, the applications provide a seamless way of furniture purchasing, the consumers do not have to travel to the store and it results in a significant cost saving. With the rapidly increasing penetration of mobile technology and the growing popularity of online shopping, the furniture industry is also adapting to the changing times.
In addition to this, there is no business that can escape the usage of social media and digital marketing. It is not enough to manufacture world-class products. To reach the right set of customers and tell them about the latest offering is equally important. And no other place than social media can do this best. An active presence on popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube can increase the customer base manifold.
Additionally, social media platforms are being actively used to sustain the customer base. The customers who have already purchased a product want to remain abreast with the latest offerings from the manufacturers. Having an active email list and gathering the contact numbers of potential customers can immensely help in this regard.
Moreover, the compulsion of having a solid digital presence has also motivated the manufacturers to have a state-of-the-art website for the brand. In fact, a website is the brand ambassador of the business and its usability increases the sales numbers tremendously.
Conclusively, as the technology is advancing a lightning speed, the furniture industry cannot and should not lag behind in the adoption of tech-based tools. If employed efficiently, it will benefit both the furniture brand and the esteemed customer base.