When you were a kid, what did you think the future would look like? Hoverboards, Back to the Future style? Flying Cars a la The Jetsons?
It’s 2017 people, and look what we have here – an augmented reality Ikea experience. So that everywhere is your life can be filled with Ikea, like a disillusioned insurance worker’s apartment shortly before starting an underground Fight Club.
Ikea Place is an augmented reality app that lets you experience, experiment and share popping Ikea products into any space. Everything is 3D and true to scale so you can see if it’ll fit.
“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,” says Michael Valdsgaard, Leader Digital Transformation (that’s a real job) at Inter IkeaSystems.
Valdsgaard reckons augmented reality and virtual reality will be “a total game changer for retail in the same way as the internet”.
“ARKit gives us the opportunity to help shape the development of AR as an accessible tool for real-life decision making.”
Ikea Place is built on Apple’s new ARKit technology, you see – and Ikea is one of the first home furnishing brands in the world to use it.
The Customer Experience Manager at IKEA Australia, Cass Hall, says the technology “will shift the way we purchase furniture in the future. IKEA Place and this AR technology will see IKEA redefine the experience for furniture retail once more, in our restless quest to create a better everyday life for everyone, everywhere.”
The Ikea Place app automatically scales products – based on room dimensions – with 98 per cent accuracy. You will be able to see the texture of the fabric, as well as how light and shadows are rendered on your furnishings.
Once you have everything in its place, you can capture the room setting and share it as an image or video with friends, who will definitely appreciate you sharing this with them, and definitely won’t develop a pesky annoying eye-twitch as a result.
More than 2,000 IKEA products will be available in the app at launch, and in the future, Ikea says the app will play a key role in the launch of new product lines. The products in the first release are for the living room, reflecting the focus for IKEA in 2018.
When launched the app will feature all sofas, all armchairs, all footstools, all coffee tables and storage solutions that can be placed on the floor.
“The launch of Ikea Place is an exciting milestone,” says Tiffany Buckins, Head of Interior Design for Ikea Australia.
“We understand that the world is changing and that technology is impacting the way we live at home, especially in the living room. Technology like Ikea Place coupled with inspiring living room solutions, is one way Ikea hopes to help create a better everyday life for Australians.
You’ll be able to check it out at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne in October at the Make Room for Life exhibition.
Ikea Place will be available to download from the App Store “soon”.