A few years ago we wrote about an interior design game that works as a fun way to express your interior design skills.
Although fun, the app wasn’t good enough for me. I wanted something more realwhere the layout of the property was exactly like the one I purchased, allowing me to virtually plan my furnishing and renovation.
Turns out there was a Malaysian app that exactly answered my question. It’s called SofaXand it comes as a metaverse for your home by letting you decorate and furnish properties in virtual reality.
Your digital home
I actually found the SofaX app in late 2020, where it mostly behaved like a digital version of interior design brochures (or Pinterest, if you will). It also had VR interior design features, but the long load times were frustrating, with few properties and furniture options available.
Almost two years later, SofaX seems to have more updates. The VR home design part is the star of the show and has a much faster load time. It also has at least 3,000 designer pieces of furniture and over 1,800 VR floor plans inspired by residential projects around the Klang Valley.
These residential projects are made up of actual floor plans from real estate developers such as Glomac, Beverly Group, Sime Darby Property, and Tropicana Corporation Berhad, to name a few.
In addition to that, you can find contacts for service providers such as plumbing, air conditioning installation, carpentry work, Feng Shui consulting, etc., on the app. There aren’t many names listed yet, but the team is onboarding more.
The main goal of SofaX is to help users visualize their dream home design in the exact property they purchased. The app does this by allowing users to combine various pieces of furniture from different brands under one virtual roof.
Give visibility to brands
Using the team’s 3D modeling skills and VR gaming technology, they launched SofaX in November 2020 by building the VR house plans based on publicly available information from property brochures.
In December 2021 however, the team began approaching property developers for more information on their house plans and built them accordingly.
“Real estate developers are very interested in working with us to create this little metaverse of the homes they sell. [or have] sold will be useful to their customers,” said Mac Lai, COO of SofaX.
“They don’t have to pay for an expensive mobile app or other costs to have our service rendered in virtual reality.”
For furniture merchants on the app, their benefit is an advertising opportunity, in which they pay SofaX commissions between 5% and 20% of each furniture sale.
Showcasing the products and being able to interact with them through the VR platform gives these furniture brands more exposure and potential sales. A similar idea applies to on-app service providers.
A gateway to e-commerce
While using the app, I realized that there is a “Scan to Pay” option that works with participating merchants. This got me wondering if SofaX offered streamlined e-commerce features where users could buy the furniture they liked right from the app itself.
“To begin with, we’re not a 100% online e-commerce guy,” Mac clarified. “Our concept is based on phygital (physical plus digital experience).”
Once a user has viewed their design, they can then visit the physical showrooms of SofaX partner merchants to better experience how the pieces feel to the touch.
“There are also more items in the showroom that aren’t available in the app. The idea is to bring customers to their stores,” Mac told Vulcan Post.
In order for SofaX to earn the commissions they charge merchants, users must make a certain method of payment through the app, hence SofaX’s rewards and credits system. Put simply, the rewards system works more like your gas points card.
“It also saves us unnecessary transaction costs that payment system providers typically charge,” Mac said of the rewards system.
Of course, SofaX plans to allow users to purchase the furniture directly from the app itself. Mac added that it has always been SofaX’s mission to provide the best of both worlds where users can play and buy directly from within the app.
Bigger developments in the pipeline
Within the next 3 years, the SofaX team intends to provide a digital twin for all homes, including those in neighboring cities and countries like Singapore and Bangkok. Mac thinks it’s possible because the team has the in-house resources to turn houses into virtual reality without actually being on the premises.
“As we cover real estate development projects, we will build our ecosystem of furniture business 3D assets in those very areas,” Mac added.
SofaX is currently in the process of raising its pre-Series A funding and expects to raise its Series A at the end of the year.
With the VR technology we already have, we intend to build a more metaverse world that could cover virtual malls, virtual convention centers, virtual car shows, to name a few. This will include developing individual applications to respond to different events.
Mac Lai, COO of SofaX
- Learn more about SofaX here.
- Learn more about Metaverse-related articles here.
Featured Image Credit: Mac Lai, SofaX COO