Me: “Hey, Future, I want to check out kitchens at Ikea without leaving my couch.”
I kid you not, this is an actual conversation I’ve had with myself. And now it has happened. The Ikea VR Experience released on Steam today, and my inherit laziness has been enabled in a whole new way.
The app has been made in collaboration with developers at the French company Allegorithmic, using Unreal Engine 4 from Epic Games, and has been developed for HTC Vive — created by HTC and Valve.
Ikea VR Experience is a pilot test “exploring new ways to empower customers without increasing the impact on the environment, Ikea says. Its a chance to try out kitchen features before you buy them, in “real world” size.
“Virtual reality is developing fast and in five to ten years it will be an integrated part of people’s lives,” says Jesper Brodin, managing director at Ikea of Sweden and Range and Supply Manager at IKEA Group. “We see that virtual reality will play a major role in the future of our customers, for instance it could be used to enable customers to try out a variety of home furnishing solutions before buying them,”
“Australians are known for embracing the latest technology and innovations, so virtual reality has the potential to transform the way people interact with our products in the home. We look forward to hearing our customers’ feedback on the experience as we continue to explore this space in the future”, says Tim Prevade, Range Manager for Ikea Australia.
You can change the colour of cabinets and drawers with a click, shrink yourself and move around the kitchen in the size of a one metre tall child or enlarge yourself and experience it as someone who is 1.95 metres tall.
These features will be useful from a safety perspective, Ikea says since walking around the room in someone else’s shoes enables you to discover hidden dangers.
Ikea VR Experience will receive updates until the end of August 2016 when the pilot will finish and we have to go back to leaving the house to browse for homewares.
Perhaps this will lead the way for the entire store to be in VR, with clickable items to purchase and be delivered to your home? All you’ll need to do is prepare the meatballs.