IKEA announced a new augmented reality app this week that can virtually place furniture in your home. The free app (called IKEA Place) was built on Apple’s new ARKit technology and will be available in the Apple store starting late-September. IKEA says the furniture, home goods, and products in the app are “3D and true to scale” so you don’t have to worry about sizing and coloration.
“IKEA Place makes it easier to make buying decisions in your own place, to get inspired and try many different products, styles and colors in real-life settings with a swipe of your finger,”says 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.”
According to IKEA, the app can scale products based on room dimensions with 98% accuracy. Users will even be able to see how light and shadows are rendered on the furnishings, as well as detailed textures on fabrics. And for those indecisive shoppers who need a second opinion, the app allows users to share images of the “new look” with friends.
Although IKEA is one of the first home furnishing brands to utilize AR technology in the buyer’s experience, there has been a considerable rise in its use for real estate sales and high-end art purchases for the home. In June, Yungching Realty Group, a Taipei-based firm, became the first real estate agency in the world to use mixed reality (MR), after announcing their new partnership with iStaging. One month earlier, Twyla, a company that specializes in museum-quality limited edition prints, included virtual reality as part of a trending NYC design event. So it’s no surprise the world’s largest furniture retailer would follow suit.
“ARKit gives us the opportunity to help shape the development of AR as an accessible tool for real-life decision making,” continues Michael. The app will feature more than 2,000 IKEA products, including coffee tables, sofas, armchairs, and more.