Ikea ventures into augmented reality


(Source: Inside Retail Asia | September 13, 2017)

A new Ikea app uses augmented reality to allow consumers to see how its products will look in their home.

The app automatically scales products, based on room dimensions, with a claimed 98 per cent accuracy. In fact, the Swedish furniture giant says the new Apple Arkit technology is so precise that fabric textures can be seen as well as the interplay of light and shadow.

“Ikea Place makes buying decisions easier … you can try many different products, styles and colours in real-life settings with a swipe of your finger,” says Inter Ikea Systems digital transformation leader Michael Valdsgaard.

“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.”

Ikea Australia customer experience manager Cass Hall says the technology 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 buy furniture.”

More than 2000 products are available in the launch version of the app, and Hall says the app will play a key role in launching product lines.

Ikea will introduce the technology at the Make Room for Life exhibition at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) in Melbourne next month.

“Through the 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 in a way that is most important for them”, says Ikea Australia head of interior design Tiffany Buckins.

Ikea says the app will be available for download “soon”.


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