December 13, 2018 5:10 pm

Peterborough startup Kavtek gaining ground in tech industry

It's a home design, augmented reality app that launched in Peterborough in 2017. Now, one of the developers says they are part of a rapidly growing, soon-to-be multi-billion dollar industry.

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Imagine you are redecorating but can’t seem to visualize how your space might look with new furniture.

Well, there’s an app for that: it’s called Kavtek, and it was developed in Peterborough.

“It is a visualization in the hands of the consumer.” said Kavtek co-founder Sanu Somaweera.

The app allows users to place products, furniture, paint and more in their homes using augmented reality.

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Somaweera said the consumer sector of the visual reality market is booming, and he projected that it could be a $13-billion industry in the next four years.

READ MORE: Kavtek founders hope to put Peterborough on the tech map

Chris Bellissimo, marketing manager for Kavtek, said the app uses a smartphone or tablet’s camera to place products in a real-world setting.

“You have to scan the room,” he said. “That detects the points in the room and lets the app know where you can place objects.”

Kavtek began in partnership with a local real estate agent, allowing people to see potential in a home. Now, big names like Dulux Paints and Wayfair are also on board with the technology.

“We have all 3D digital products that are to scale,” said Bellissimo.

READ MORE: How augmented reality is playing a role in the health-care sector

The team at Kavtek has also partnered with local businesses, including Monaghan Lumber Specialties. The technology is being applied to a business that has been in operation in Peterborough for more than 30 years.

“If you’re not being proactive or progressive, then you’re not going to be around for 30 years or 30 years to come,” said Warren Rose, director of sales at Monaghan Lumber Specialties.

“It is a way to enhance the customer experience,” he said. “Now you can redesign your floor from your own home.”

He said that once users map out the area they’re looking to design, they can input different flooring options and snap photos of what the flooring would look like in the space.

Somaweera said that in 2019, the company is rolling out an updated version of Kavtek and plans to announce new partnerships.

READ MORE: Local artists bring Calgary’s first augmented reality mural to life

“It is eventually going to be everyday technology,” Somaweera said. “You walk into an airport, for example, and you’re trying to find your gate. You pull up a phone or your smart glasses, and it will tell you exactly where it is. That is what this technology is going to do.”

You can download the free app on Google Play or in the App Store.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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