Apple And Ikea Are Now AR Partners, Unlikely Alliance

20 June, 2017, 11:52 | Author: Oscar Goodwin

The smartphone and furniture giants are teaming up to develop an app where customers can overlay 3D models of furniture into their living rooms and bedrooms using only their iPhone, according to Ikea's digital transformation manager Michael Valdsgaard. What? Did you think Apple and Ikea wanted to make an AR Sims game?

Buyers will be browsing for the furniture on the app, which will scan the areas of the house beforehand in order to provide an AR impression that's close to reality. In the future, Valdsgaard implied, the purchase could take place within the app: "It's the ambition, but I cannot promise [the payment facility] will work in the first version".

While IKEA already offers a basic version of this within its iOS app, Valdsgaard says the advent of ARKit means that it will be far more accurate than it is now. Another major benefit of working with Apple is the company's huge ecosystem of users: "It will become the biggest AR-platform in the world overnight". The idea is that you'll be able to see an augmented reality layout of your home, to get a better sense of, say, what shade of leather chair looks good beside your enormous stuffed moose. "It's super interesting to us".

The app presents new potentials for e-commerce, but Valdsgaard made it clear that IKEA's massive warehouse/meatball emporiums will remain to be a major focus for the company, calling them "our greatest asset".

"Ideally, you could put a sofa in your home with the help of the app, and then with one click add it [to] the shopping cart on the ecommerce site", Valdsgaard told Di Digital. Apparently Apple's AR tech is so precise that positioning will be accurate to the milimetre, with accurate sizing and lighting.

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