Virtual furniture within physical space: Ikea to be Apple's launch partner for AR

"This will be the first augmented reality app that allows you to make reliable buying decision."

Apple has been working on its augmented reality projects for quite some time now and in a recent interview with Bloomberg, CEO Tim Cook has said that he is so excited about the AR efforts of the company that he wanted to "yell out and scream. Not to forget, he also mentioned how AR technology can change how we look at the world, for example, he said furniture-buying is one of the tasks which can be entirely redefined with the use of AR and gave a particular shout-out to Ikea. Just to note the point Ikea was also briefly referenced at the iOS 11 keynote.


"We've talked to Ikea, and they have 3D images of their furniture line. You're talking about changing the whole experience of how you shop for, in this case, furniture and other objects that you can place around the home," said the Cupertino-based tech giant at the WWDC 2017.

Now, the multinational company that designs and sells ready-to-assemble furniture has expressed a few details about their future plans with Apple to a Swedish site called Digital.di.

"This will be the first augmented reality app that allows you to make reliable buying decision [...] When we launch new products, they will come first in the AR app," said Ikea's digital transformation manager Michael Valdsgaard to the website.

Once the app is ready the customers will have to click the pictures of their own home and then they can make use of the app to position photo-realistic renders of Ikea products wherever they desire them in their home. Customers will be able to see how the furniture would look like at their home in different positions before buying it.

Valdsgaard said that the Apple's AR technology is so enhanced that the positioning of the products using the app will be 'millimeter precise,' with completely accurate sizes and lighting. The company is expecting to have 500-600 products available at launch, added Valdsgaard.

This move will definitely give Ikea more edge over the other companies, considering that the company is already using photo-realistic renders instead of product photos in its existing catalog for some time now and it will be able to drop these same 3D models into the AR app.


Initially, it will be a tool to be used in the stores, where you can spot a product and immediately see how it would look like in your home with the app, but the company plans to go beyond it later on.

"Ideally, you could place a sofa in your home using the app, and then click it in the shopping cart on the e-commerce site", said Valdsgaard.

According to him, Ikea wants to get it ready for the launch of iOS 11 but the time frame might not be enough to get it done by then.

Earlier this month at the WWDC, Apple did show off its ARKit framework, which will arrive with iOS 11 and the company has a demo running of it, which lets users place digital furniture within a physical space.

You can watch keynote at the Apple WWDC 2017 here: