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Towards development of a distributed virtual furniture, fixture and equipment shopping environment

Prabhakaran, Abhinesh; Mahamadu, Abdul-Majeed; Mahdjoubi, Lamine; Booth, Colin A.


Abdul Mahamadu
Associate Lecturer - CATE - AAE - UAAE0001

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Lamine Mahdjoubi
Professor in Info. & Communication & Tech.

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Colin Booth
Professor of Smart and Sustainable Infrastructures


Purpose: -The dynamic consumer behaviour, as well as the current state of nationwide lock-down and social distancing mandates, has left retail industries like the Furniture Fixture and Equipment (FFE) sector under unprecedented disruption, leaving them on the verge of collapsing. For the FFE sector to survive, they will have no choice but to adapt to new ways to get merchandise to their consumers. In addressing this gap, this study proposes a novel methodology for the development and application of a prototypical distributed virtual shopping environment (DVSE) that will allow furniture and fixture consumers to shop remotely in a fully immersive and interactive virtual environment, minimising the risk of physical contact but at the same time delivering a rich, meaningful, and compelling shopping experience.
Approach: - A two-phased approach involving furniture and fixture designers, retailers, architects and consumers (n=9) was carried out to ascertain the usefulness of DVSE. The first phase involved direct prototyping followed by testing of the developed system through demonstrations followed by interviews with FFE designers, architects’ retailers, and consumers which allowed in the thematic analysis of the transcript. The key themes identified were further categorised based on the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) constructs
Findings: -Findings indicate that DVSE is a highly efficient and viable tool which can deliver a compelling and richer experience similar to an FFE in-store experience. It also revealed that the proposed system not only improves the senses of presence but also brings in a new dimension which is the sense of being together which has a positive impact on the user's purchase decision. Further, this study also revealed that the cost of the HMD as well as motion sickness as two critical factors that can hamper the full deployment of DVSE.


Prabhakaran, A., Mahamadu, A., Mahdjoubi, L., & Booth, C. A. (in press). Towards development of a distributed virtual furniture, fixture and equipment shopping environment. In SEEDS 2021 Abstract Booklet (42)

Conference Name International Sustainable Ecological Engineering Design For Society (SEEDS)
Conference Location Leeds, United Kingdom
Start Date Sep 1, 2021
End Date Sep 3, 2021
Acceptance Date Jun 7, 2021
Online Publication Date Nov 11, 2021
Deposit Date Mar 25, 2022
Pages 42
Book Title SEEDS 2021 Abstract Booklet
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