Take the Stress Out of Redecorating

Paint your walls a bold new color with augmented reality.

Primer: AR Home Design

Try paint, tile, & wallpaper


‣ Company: Primer
‣ Founders: Adam Debreczeni and Russ Maschmeyer
‣ Mission: Give people the confidence to make bolder home design decisions
‣ App launched: April 2020
‣ Team size: 9
‣ Go-to emoji: 🤙

When Adam Debreczeni, cofounder of Primer: AR Home Design, wanted to pick a new color for his office walls, he had an elegant solution. In fact, he’d invented it.

With the help of augmented reality (AR), Primer lets you see how different paints, wallpapers, and tiles will look in your space. “The cost of redoing something in home decor is so high,” he says. “We hope we’re giving people a little bit more confidence.”

Scan your wall, add a pattern, and see what your space would look like with a bold new backdrop.

With Primer, Debreczeni and cofounder Russ Maschmeyer are making AR accessible to all—and saving people everywhere countless trips to the hardware store. We spoke to Debreczeni from his home in Bozeman, Montana, about the magic of ARKit, the pointlessness of tile samples, and revolutionizing an industry.

How did Primer come about?

Russ had ordered tile samples for his office space—they took six weeks to arrive and were tiny. We joked about how broken that experience was, then brainstormed how we could mock up the tiles in ARKit. We built it for ourselves and realized others would want to play with this tool.

What problem do you want to solve?

Primer allows customers to visualize what their space would look like with a product at scale. When it comes to wallpaper, it’s hard to imagine what an ornate pattern might look like with your furniture, TV, and prints. There’s also a sense of immediacy: Typical turnaround for getting a sample is five to 30 business days. With Primer, it’s instant and you have the entire catalog.

What was your biggest challenge creating the app?

For the vast majority of our users, Primer is their first-ever AR experience. That’s exciting but daunting; You’re teaching people how to interact with a completely new paradigm. We felt a responsibility to make it as intuitive as possible and hide all the complexity that the device is processing every millisecond.

How much is happening under the hood?

We’re using Apple’s Metal shaders to sample the lighting on walls and accurately blend virtual paint, LiDAR on iPhone 12 Pro and iPad Pro to build a 3D geometry of the room for occlusion, Metal shaders on top of LiDAR data to intelligently smooth the LiDAR mask data, ARKit to gather the ambient light and color temperature in your room and for six degrees of freedom movement, physically based rendering textures to provide the renderer with information about how a product is supposed to look in 3D, and finally SceneKit to re-composite the scene and render it. This happens at 60 frames per second, and all of this runs every single frame.

What has the industry response been like?

After we launched, showrooms were closed and they didn’t have the tools to communicate with customers, but they realized tech was going to permanently transform their industry. We came in and said, “Not only are we going to help you survive this pandemic, we’re going to dramatically increase the size of your potential audience.”

    Primer: AR Home Design

    Try paint, tile, & wallpaper


Primer is a part of the App Store Small Business Program. If you are a developer and would like to learn more about the program, follow the link below.