Become an interior designer with Ikea's new AR app

Ikea has entered the world of virtual reality with its new app, which allows consumers to virtually place furniture in their home.

From couches and armchairs to coffee tables, the augmented reality (AR) application Ikea Place makes all products 3D and true to scale so that every choice shoppers make is the right size, design and function.

Michael Valdsgaard, leader digital transformation at Inter Ikea Systems, says Ikea Place makes it easier to make buying decisions, to get inspired and try many different products, styles and colours in real-life settings with a swipe of your finger.

“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,” he explains.

More than 2,000 products will be available in the app, which automatically scales products with 98 per cent accuracy. The AR technology is so precise that you will be able to see the texture of the fabric, as well as how light and shadows are rendered on your furnishings.

In addition to digitally placing Ikea products in a room, the app allows people to capture the room setting and share it as an image or video with friends.

The launch of the app is a milestone for the Swedish retailer, 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,” she explains.

“People want to make more out of their space; they are looking for flexibility that reflects their everyday lives and all the different activities that take place 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.”

The new AR technology will be launched in Melbourne in October at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) during the Make Room for Life Exhibition.

“Built on Apple’s new ARKit technology, Ikea Place is an important innovation for Ikea,” adds Cassie Hall, Ikea Australia customer experience manager.

“Ikea is one of the first home furnishing brands in the world to bring this technology to people, which 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.”

By Marion Gerritsen