IKEA's Augmented Reality Catalogue Might Be The Company's Best-Made Product Yet

We've already shared our favourite items from IKEA's 2013 product catalogue, but what we didn't know was that as of July 31, the catalogue itself will be an interactive product of the latest augmented-reality technology.

iOS and Android users who download the IKEA catalogue app, will be able to unlock video features, interactive experiences with products on the page, photo galleries and additional decorating inspiration.

Developed by the creative agency McCann, the AR app is a project that the Swedish build-it-yourself furniture empire has been working on for quite a while, since 2011 when they first expressed interset in bridging the print/digital divide. Linus Karlsson, Global Chief Creative Officer of McCann, explained to Wired that replacing the paper catalogue with an entirely digital product wouldn't make sense, "If you had a magazine that had 211 million copies in circulation, you just would't end it. That would be crazy."

With this added digital layer, shopping IKEA's collection will become a little bit easier -- an "X-ray" feature allows you to peer inside cabinets, for example, making a trip to the brick-and-mortar store potentially unnecessary. (Not enough of IKEA's collection is available for purchase online to cut out a trip to the store entirely.)

And if reading the catalogue with this app makes your in-person shopping experience quicker, less chaotic, and more goal-orientated, you might even be spared the infamous IKEA hangover -- the result, I imagine, of walking dizzying paths through endless pre-fab installations, plus too many Swedish cafeteria meatballs and the sugar crash that comes after downing a large lingonberry punch. [Wired via Slashgear]



    That's cool and all, but a better use of AR would be to scan a code in the catalog, and then be able to place the furniture virtually in real space, to see how it fits in with the rest of your house.

      my thoughts exactly. Should be able to open the magazine, put it where you want your furniture to go, then look through your tablet or phone, and see what it looks like! that would be awesome!

    This too was what i thought it would be... what a shame :(

    It would be so incredibly easy to turn the catalogue itself into a marker that could be place anywhere in a room to show furniture at full-scale. IKEA could even crowd-source their next range this way before it hits the production line. Hopefully they partner with a decent platform to work more into an area of AR in which it actually solves problems that cannot be solved otherwise.

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