Sony's AR tool lets you put big screens in small apartments (video)

It may not be a slick as Panasonic's dream-TV AR app, but at least Sony's keeping up with the competition. Live from the company's UK outfit is an online AR tool enabling you, dear reader, to visualize all sorts of boob tubes you can (and can't) afford. After printing, affixing and photographing a marker, prospective buyers can get a better sense of what sets fit in their humble abodes. Interested in giving it a go? Mosey on past the break for PR and a video, and then hop beyond the source link to begin your adventure.

[Thanks, Matt]

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See Before You Buy: Sony uses augmented reality to help choose the right size TV for your home
22 August 2011

We've all been there when it comes to sizing up televisions for the home. Judging if it will fit into a certain space, how it will look when it's there and whether it will be suitable for the style of your home are some of the customary headaches associated with making a purchase. There is also a common opinion that bigger is usually better when it comes to TVs, but a lack of confidence over whether bigger will look better often leads us to opt for a smaller size. It's only when the television is in place that we realise a bigger size would have looked just fine.

In fact, it can be misleading that today's TVs are bigger. If you compare one of Sony's top of the range 32-inch Trinitron TV's from 2001(*1) and today's 46-inch award winning BRAVIA, the KDL-46HX923 –– the latter is only 10cm wider than the Trinitron and half as deep at 24cm. That includes the stand as the TV alone is just 3cm thick. This is because the frame around the actual screen takes up less space, as well as it being much flatter.

To help consumers choose the best size TV with confidence, Sony has developed its own 'TV Size Guide' tool. Hosted online,, it uses augmented reality to show how different size TVs look in any given location, so you can rely less on gut feeling when it comes to the most appropriate size.

How it works
The prospective TV buyer simply goes to the TV Size Guide website and follows four easy steps:
1. Download and print out a marker – this is a simple shape printed onto an A4 piece of paper that the app will recognise and transfer into your selected TV
2. Place this marker where you want your TV to go, either on a flat horizontal surface or mounted on a wall, and take a photograph of it.
3. Upload the image to Sony's online tool and it will automatically pick up the marker, working out the appropriate scale and position for your TV. Choose different size TVs which will appear on top of the marker to find the best one for you.
4. Save your images to create a gallery of choices to compare and contrast.

Tim Schwarz, Online Content Manager, Sony Europe explains: "Up until now a tape measure and guess work is all that most of us have had to rely on when it comes to picking the best sized TV for the home and this often leads to mistakes. We know consumers put a lot of emphasis on getting the right screen size and our research has shown that this is one of the most important features they look for when buying a TV(*2). What people don't often realise is that TVs take up a lot less space than they used to, so you really can go larger. This is why we've developed this simple guide – to give you the confidence to choose the right size TV by accurately visualising how it would look in situ before you buy."