By Christine Kern, contributing writer
IKEA Place AR app will be available soon in the Apple App Store
In June, IKEA announced that it was partnering with Apple to create an augmented reality app to drive its e-commerce platform, as Retail Insights reported. Now, IKEA is planning to make its IKEA Place augmented reality application, built on Apple’s new ARKit AR development platform, available before the end this month in the Apple app store, according to a Sept. 12 press release.
“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,” explained 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.”
With Apple’s technology, the new app is an improvement over the existing IKEA catalogue app, which lets customers select items and superimpose their images over whatever room your camera is capturing. Michael Valdsgaard, IKEA's digital transformation manager, told Swedish website Digital.di, "This will be the first augmented reality app that allows you to make reliable buying decisions."
And IKEA is not the only retailer making the foray into VR technology. Lowe’s and Pottery Barn both have VR apps that let you “try out” products in your personal space, and Lowe’s also uses AR to help customers navigate their stores and VR to guide home improvement project workshops.
The app will function on Apple devices running iOS 11and will allows users at launch to choose from a range of more than 2,000 Ikea products to view and move around virtually in any room. The app automatically scales products based on room dimensions, with 98 percent accuracy, according to the company.
The first release of the app will focus on larger furniture pieces for living rooms: all sofas, all armchairs, all footstools, all coffee tables and top-selling storage solutions that can be placed on the floor. Some of the most recognized Ikea products will be available on IKEA Place, including the Vimle sofa, the Strandmon winged chair and the Lisabo side table.
“Now, technology has caught up with our ambition. AR lets us redefine the experience for furniture retail once more, in our restless quest to create a better everyday life for everyone, everywhere,” Valdsgaard says.