Wayfair Execs to Demo Latest AR/VR Advances at HFN’s Omnichannel Summit

Retail panel discussion will focus on real-world AR/VR applications
May 25, 2017HFN Staff

MikeFesta ShrenikSadalgiMike Festa, left, and Shrenik Sadalgi
NEW YORK—Wayfair’s augmented and virtual reality experts Mike Festa and Shrenik Sadalgi will headline HFN’s Total Home Omnichnannel Summit with a presentation on the latest advancements in the technologies and how they will revolutionize the consumers’ shopping experience.

Following the demo presentation, Festa and Sadalgi will participate in a panel discussion among retailers currently using AR/VR to discuss its real world applications.

“Wayfair is a pioneer in this space and we are honored to have them speaking at our summit,” said Maureen Azzato, publisher and editorial director of HFN. “I recently saw a demo of the advances they’ve made in AR/VR and I was blown away by how far Wayfair has come in its development since the last demo I saw a year ago. The technology is evolving at breakneck pace and has great retail potential for both online and off-line applications in physical stores.”

Over the past six months, several retailers—including Lowes/The Mine, Pottery Barn, Ashley Furniture, Houzz and Ikea—have rolled out AR and/or VR applications, which will only accelerate in the future as consumers become more comfortable with the technology, Azzato added.

Festa joined the company in 2015 as director of Wayfair Next, the company’s research and development team that is focused on bringing millions of products into the third dimension for use in photo-realistic renderings, virtual reality and augmented reality experiences. Prior to that he was a software engineer for Wayfair. Sadalgi is mixed reality applications lead for Wayfair Next, a position he has held for the past year and a half. Prior to that he was a senior software engineer for the company.

Wayfair was the first to launch a virtual reality app in the home furnishings industry last summer for outdoor furniture. Then in November 2016 the company debuted IdeaSpace, its second virtual reality application for designing spaces with furniture and décor, on Daydream, Google’s mobile virtual reality platform. A month later it launched View in Room, a mobile app feature that places 2-D product images in any room through the camera of iPhones and Android devices so shoppers can see how Wayfair furniture and décor will look in their own homes.

Most recently, leveraging artificial intelligence and other cutting edge technology, Wayfair unveiled visual search that helps shoppers find and purchase furnishings by matching pictures of products they like with items from Wayfair’s inventory.

For these presentations and more, save the date for HFN’s second annual Total Home Omnichannel Summit Nov. 1-3 at the Marriott in Delray Beach, Fla.

For registration and information contact Heather Thompson, senior conferences and events manager at 336-605-1061 or hthompson@pbmbrands.com.

For sponsorship information contact John Huff at 630-394-4670 or jhuff@HFNdigital.com.

HFN Staff | News & Commentary

HFN provides detailed information on the key home classifications: Housewares, Tabletop, Floor Covering & Rugs, Furniture, Home Textiles, Lighting, Home Decor, Mattresses & Bedding, Gifts, Major Appliances and Consumer Electronics as well as Business, Finance and Retail.

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