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Grafenia launch BeholdAR – World’s first augmented reality app for fabric displays

Posted on December 01, 2017


BeholdAR, the world’s first augmented reality (“AR”) app for fabric displays was launched in Manchester today. The app, which works on modern iPhones and iPads allows clients to visualise fabric exhibition displays and personalised furniture without leaving their offices.

Peter Gunning, CEO of Grafenia plc, the people behind the app said “when we saw the beta version of Apple’s augmented reality tools in the labs, we couldn’t keep our hands off them. This technology helps our clients see what fabric displays look like in their own offices or stores. Seeing photos of these displays just doesn’t do them justice. So we started developing BeholdAR in the summer and are delighted to launch version 1.0 today.”


The first version of BeholdAR features 3D models of the best-selling fabric displays, as sold through Nettl neighbourhood web studios and stores. The range includes curved and straight displays, deckchairs, booths, cocktail tables and more. “Building the models themselves was a bit of a challenge. We’ve hired people who normally design objects and environments for computer video games. I suppose a deckchair is pretty similar to a Pokemon and a fabric booth nearly the same as a car in Grand Theft Auto?”

More models are currently in development and future updates will include the full range of popular fabric tension graphic displays and custom printed furniture. “We had been building out the models to help clients with proofing their fabric displays. It’s actually pretty hard for a client to visualise flat panels on, say, a printed cocktail table. It’s much easier for them to see their artwork on a 3D model. And we thought, ‘what if we took this further?’”

There’s been a growing trend for office brandification. Studies keep showing that people who work in sterile, lean offices are less productive than those who work in creative spaces. Today Nettl and have launched a “Spectacular Spaces Look Book” to celebrate the launch of BeholdAR. It’s 52 pages of ideas and ways to turn boring offices into engaging environments. “You really can personalise anything these days. Floors, ceilings, walls and windows. If it’s a surface, it can be branded. Folk can use our app to see how a booth would fit, without having to get out the measuring tape.”

To use the app, the user first does a few scans of their room. That lets the app learn where the surfaces are – the walls, floors and ceilings. Then users can press the ‘plus’ button. They’ll see a list of available models. Choose the one they want, then position it by twisting with their fingers. “Then it gets cool” says Gunning. “You can actually walk around the display. See it from all angles. Point your device up, point it down. The detail is incredible. You can see zips and even the stitching. Just watch you don’t trip over a real object. You can’t hurt yourself with our augmented reality models, but coffee tables really can sting.”

BeholdAR was developed in-house by the team of Nettl “Geeks”. The app uses Apple’s new ARKit augmented reality platform. Users need iOS 11.0 or later installed on a device which works with ARKit – that includes modern iPads and an iPhone 6S or later.

BeholdAR can be downloaded free from the Apple App Store – search for “beholdar” to find it or visit


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