Ikea have launched a new app called Place that allows you to try before you buy by virtually placing furniture in your home. The app uses augmented reality (AR) to “experience, experiment and share how good design transforms any space,” by enabling users to choose items of furniture and use their phone to see what it would look like the actual space. Every one of the objects available on the app is three-dimensional and true to scale so that any resulting purchase will be the right size, design and function.
This is not the first time Ikea has experimented with how technology can improve its products, it previously incorporated wireless charging into its furniture as well as creating smart lighting that works across a range of smart home “ecosystems” and created their catalogue app in 2012 which was a much more primitive version of Place. Place was built using Apple’s new ARKit technology and automatically scales furniture based on room dimensions with 98 percent accuracy. This marks an important milestone in the integration of AR and VR into our everyday lives by providing a useful tool as opposed to the medium’s usual applications which tend to revolve around gaming and cinema. “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,” says Micheal Valdsgaard, leader of digital transformation at Inter Ikea Systems.
The app is now available on the App Store and also enables users to capture the object in their space, share the images and purchase directly through the app. The catalogue already stands at over 2,000 objects, a number that will continue to rise as Ikea intend to use the app to launch new product lines in the near future
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Ruby joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in September 2017 after graduating from the Graphic Communication Design course at Central Saint Martins. In April 2018, she became a staff writer and in August 2019, she was made associate editor. Get in contact with Ruby about ideas you may have for long-form stories on the site.