Barry Besecker, Marxent co-founder and chief technology officer, shows an example of the company’s mobile technology in this file photo. TY GREENLEES/STAFF

Local tech-firm lands La-Z-Boy contract for augmented reality work

Miamisburg-based Marxent is expanding its augmented and virtual reality technology into another major furniture retailer.

La-Z-Boy today announced that it would partner with Marxent to add the high-tech augmented reality, virtual reality, 3D product spinning and 3D room planners to stores and e-commerce products.

Marxent was a pioneer of augmented reality when it launched in 2011. Since then its shifted the tech world’s focus from building augmented reality into apps to building a platform that can be used across devices, said Beck Besecker, Marxent’s CEO and co-founder. The company has helped retailers reduce returns by 25 percent and increase basket sizes by 40 to 50 percent, all while enhancing the customer experience.

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“La-Z-Boy is famous for innovative product design and an unmatched custom furniture buying experience. It is our firm belief that the customer should get exactly what they envision,” said Eli Winkler, chief marketing officer for La-Z-Boy. “3D visualization applications have become essential to delivering on that promise.”

Customers who shop La-Z-Boy’s e-commerce website will be able to pick chair style, upholstery and details in real time, seeing a full 360-degree spin of the customized selection using Marxent’s 3D Cloud platform.

With the same 3D assets, customers will be able to plan a room online, placing, moving and turning the furniture to see how it would look. A La-Z-Boy app has also been developed this year using augmented reality capabilities to show customers exactly how La-Z-Boy furniture will fit into their homes.

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Marxent has grown quickly in recent years and augmented and virtual reality become more important in retail.

The company moved from Kettering to Austin Landing in November last year and recently announced plans to add 30 jobs to the Austin Landing location.

About a year ago the company announced the “largest virtual reality rollout in retail history” when it deployed virtual reality technology that’s now in about 150 Macy’s stores.

The technology is also used by Ashley Furniture, American Furniture Warehouse, Bob’s Furniture, Jerome’s, Gallery and several more.

At some point every Google search will be 3D, Besecker said. While the home goods market was a good place to start because of the large issue of visualization and fit, eventually the 3D formats will apply to all consumer products.

“Starting a company around something that doesn’t really exist and trying to make it happen, that’s a big deep breath you have to take…Thank God we’re in Dayton because we can operate so efficiently relative to being on the west coast that we were able to be very judicious financially and kind of grow the company incrementally,” Besecker said.

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