Apple's ARKit technology will help Ikea create an augmented reality shopping app for its furniture.
At WWDC 2017, Apple announced it would bring augmented reality to iOS devices with ARKit, a framework that lets developers produce augmented reality experiences using an iOS device's camera and embedded sensors. Apple showed a couple nifty demos on stage and made mention of Ikea:
"We've had some third parties in to take a look at ARKit and they are totally excited and we are just blown away by what they've been able to accomplish. Ikea, of course, is placing furniture everywhere and it's really super awesome …"
Apparently Ikea is very serious about "placing furniture everywhere," because the company is reportedly working to be a launch partner for AR when Apple ships iOS 11 this fall.
It's not hard to imagine what an Ikea app with augmented reality would do. The app will help potential customers get an idea of how a particular piece of furniture will look in the physical space in their home. You'd scroll through the various hipster couches, select one, and plop it down in your living room. You could walk around it, get close to it to see the texture of the fabric, move away from it to understand how it'd fit in your space, etc. Basically, you'd be able to do everything … save for sitting down and feeling how comfortable (or uncomfortable) it is. Once you decide a HEKTAR or an EKTORP or a KALLAX work for you, you'd be able to add 'em to your cart and checkout. Saving a few physical trips to Ikea might be just what the doctor ordered. 😉
According to 9to5Mac, the furniture models will be incredibly precise, so you won't mistake a dog sofa for a human sofa:
"Apple's AR technology is so good that the positioning of products will be 'millimeter precise,' with sizes and lighting completely accurate."
Ikea says any and all new products it launches will get an AR model. The company will reportedly include up to 600 models in the app at launch. We'll have to cross our fingers Ikea is able to get everything working in time — the article says Ikea is very aware of the fall deadline for a day-one launch.
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