Augmented Reality is a Very Real Option for Door and Window Companies 

September 6th, 2019 by Drew Vass, Executive Editor

Andersen Corp. has an iOS-based app to overlay replacement products over existing doors and windows.

As door and window manufacturers learn to lean on the suggestions of artificially intelligent software, those are the types of human-machine interactions that are necessary to build trust, says Kari Tamminga, product owner and leader of a data science team for Paradigm. But it will take many more of those experiences to nudge the industry toward full Artificial Intelligence (AI), she and other developers suggest. First, companies must see that artificially intelligent software can and will work as expected.

“We’ve done our research and we know that’s what people care about,” she says.

Paradigm is just one company in the door and window space that is using AI and augmented reality functions to help homeowners visualize new doors and windows.

In recent months, Tamminga and other developers at Paradigm have worked with independent computer scientists to develop software that’s capable of doing something that comes fairly easy to humans: identifying fenestration in building envelopes. To get software to recognize windows that are partially blocked by tree branches, or doors that are darkly shaded by overhangs requires deep learning for software, says Matt Davis, product owner for Paradigm.

“Yesterday, we sat in a room for two hours with one of the smartest people I’ve ever met—a gentleman who’s from the Department of Bio Statistics and Computer Sciences at University of Wisconsin,” Davis says. “He is a world-renowned data scientist.”

By linking a cloud-based system to “millions of photographs” of houses and other buildings, Tamminga says her company has been able to train software to accurately analyze pictures captured and uploaded by a smartphone app to identify doors and windows. By linking that information to real-time product specifications stored by Paradigm’s Omni and Nexus software platforms, the program suggests and accurately virtualizes replacements. Through cloud-based computing, the entire process, company officials say, takes just seconds. The goal includes making the system available to manufacturers to be integrated into their websites.

In May 2019, Andersen Corp. announced a similar augmented reality-based tool for its Renewal brand of replacement doors and windows that utilizes an iOS-based app to overlay replacement products over existing doors and windows. The tool, officials said, is “different from other augmented reality tools of the past that plug in an animated, cartoonish picture of a product in a room,” instead placing images of real-life products. The software utilizes vertical plane recognition technology.

As homeowners are looking to visualize their new doors and windows—before signing contracts—it seems that door and window companies are working to make this a true-to-life reality.

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