Try before you buy: IKEA’s mobile app puts virtual furniture in your living room

IKEA
IKEA

IKEA

Where mighty IKEA steps, will others follow? The Swedish company’s mobile app can now give customers a virtual demo of a furniture item before they buy it. 

The new feature works with a selection of items from IKEA’s 2014 catalogue. Choose an item, place the catalogue on the ground to “anchor” the app and it’ll show you how it’ll look in that spot. The images can then be saved and shared around.

IKEA’s new tool – which uses German augmented reality company Metaio‘s technology – is not the first or only example of this kind of virtual sizing-up. Online clothing retailers have a range of options to choose from. In the furniture business, ViewAR (a division of Austrian tech company IT5) is an established provider of white-label solutions to clients including Steinway & Sons and Butlers. 

Finnish startup Sayduck also offers this kind of technology and counts Adidas, Kartell and magazine Livingetc among clients. Furnish takes a brand-agnostic approach and allows users to browse multiple retailers.

All should be cheering at this week’s news. With IKEA jumping in, other makers and sellers – including Fab’s new DBY division – will be more likely to do the same.

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