Ikea ventures into augmented reality

IKEA_AR_APP_PLACE_Master_still_4-4Swedish furniture chain, Ikea, has launched an augmented reality application that allows consumers to experiment with products in situ at scale.

The new app automatically scales products – based on room dimensions – with 98 per cent accuracy, with Ikea asserting the AR technology is so precise that textures of fabrics, as well as how light and shadows are hit furnishings, can be seen.

“Ikea Place makes it easier to make buying decisions in your own place, to get inspired and try many different products, styles and colours in real-life settings with a swipe of your finger,” said Michael Valdsgaard, leader digital transformation at Inter Ikea Systems.

“Augmented reality and virtual reality will be a total game changer for retail in the same way as the internet. Only this time, much faster. ARKit gives us the opportunity to help shape the development of AR as an accessible tool for real-life decision making,” said Valdsgaard.

Ikea has built the app on Apple’s new ARKit technology, which Cass Hall, customer experience manager, Ikea Australia, said is an important innovation for the global company.

“Ikea is one of the first home furnishing brands in the world to bring this technology to people, which will shift the way we purchase furniture in the future,” he said.

Over 2,000 products are available in the app at launch, and in the future will play a “key role in the launch of new product lines”.

Tiffany Buckins, head of interior design for Ikea Australia said the furniture retailer “understands that the world is changing and that technology is impacting the way we live at home, especially in the living room”.

Ikea will present the new AR technology to the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) in Melbourne in October launching the Make Room for Life exhibition.

“Through the Make Room for Life Exhibition we will draw on our understanding of how people live at home, combining sensory elements, AR technology, inspiration and our home furnishing expertise to inspire people to design their living room for what’s most important to them”,” said Buckins.

Ikea said the new app will be available to download from the App Store “soon”.

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