For a furniture warehouse that often carries a restaurant, budget hot dog stand, and Swedish delicacies, international brand Ikea is not known for doing things the conventional way when compared to their rivals, and have continued this trend of innovation by releasing their new catalogue in augmented reality app form.
The app is noted as operating by placing a scannable printed catalogue in the room on the right page, and using the Android/iOS app’s camera to implant the virtual object (with all correct dimensions based on product data) on-screen over the top, with the ability to view the item to scale in its ‘location’ from any angle the camera can be held at, whilst also being able to take pictures based on the new addition to the room.
Those items are able to be toggled through over 90 different products (with items such as sofas, tables, chairs, and beds), with multiple devices able to show a room that is even more ‘refurnished’, as its commercial below displays.
Describing that video, the Ikea YouTube channel state: “The 2014 IKEA catalogue gives you the ability to place virtual furniture in your own home with the help of augmented reality. Unlock the feature by scanning selected pages in the 2014 printed IKEA catalogue with the IKEA catalogue application (available for iOS and Android) or by browsing the pages in the digital 2014 IKEA catalogue on your smartphone or tablet. Then simply place the printed IKEA catalogue where you want to put the furniture in your room, choose a product from a selection of the IKEA range and see how it will look in your home!”
This unusual but interesting ‘try before you buy’ approach will intrigue many customers, but will the augmented reality app serve more as encouragement to purchase the real thing, or just a way to spend hours summoning virtual holographic objects? Even Ikea themselves appear to know the answer, although by the end they make out that it’s both: