Ikea’s AR furniture app will get an upgrade from Apple

Ikea is working with Apple to improve its AR app.

Ikea and Apple are collaborating on an augmented reality (AR) app that will allow customers to see how furniture looks in their homes.

“Together we are looking at the possibility to further explore the use of AR as a tool for home furnishing,” an Ikea rep said. “We want to continue to build on the positive experience of [AR] that we have gained through the Ikea catalogue app Place in Your Room [which launched in 2013].”

The new AR app will be available in Fall 2017.

Swedish tech site Di Digital reports the app will likely have a Swedish name like Platsa, but that’s still being determined.

At launch, the app will include 500 to 600 products and Michael Valdsgaard, senior vice president of digital development and leader of digital transformation at Ikea parent Inter Ikea Systems, told Di Digital new products “will be first in the AR app” and “going forward, [the app] will play a key role in new product lines."

Valdsgaard said it is Ikea’s hope to integrate a shopping capability as well, but it may not be functional in the first version.

“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. “But we have a tight deadline.”

The Ikea rep said Apple’s hardware and software provide “the stability needed to create a great AR experience and [the tech company has] solved critical technical hurdles that help make AR a more accessible tool for real-life decision-making."

Indeed, Ikea’s focus with this collaboration is bringing the brand closer to consumers’ homes.

“The technology makes it easier for our customers to envision Ikea products in their homes before buying them – beyond what is already accessible,” the rep said. “And that makes it easier for them to choose the right style, size and color. By getting access to Apple’s technology and specialist knowledge in the area of [AR] we can gain speed in the development of new innovative tools for our customers.”

Ikea recently announced a slew of additional collaborations, including Swedish perfume brand Byredo and designer Virgil Abloh.

And, for its part, AR played a starring role in Apple’s recent Worldwide Developers Conference. That’s when it announced ARKit, a framework it says brings AR to iOS devices by allowing developers to easily build AR experiences.

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