It’s no secret we are devout purchasers of IKEA interiors. Not only do we love the Scandinavian brand’s keen eye for burgeoning trends before they hit, but also its ability to design versatile products that really work for their (affordable) price tag. But, despite how good the Swedish retail giant is, there’s still something frustrating that comes with going in store to purchase the couch you’ve long been lusting over, only to find that, once home, it’s the complete wrong fit for the space.
But lucky for us, it seems that IKEA has read our minds yet again, making the shopping experience all that much easier (and perhaps most importantly, efficient) with IKEA Place, an augmented reality (AR) app that allows you to try your latest must-have items from the comfort of your own home.
How IKEA's Place App Works
From footstools to coffee tables and everything in-between, after downloading the IKEA Place app (which currently runs on iOS only), you will have access to 2000 items to style with—literally our shopping dreams come to life. Here's how it works: Take a photo with your Apple device of where you would like your new item to go, browse the app for a 3D-rendered item, select, and insert into your photo. Once you've placed your piece of digital furniture within the photo, you can easily shift, rotate, and change it to how you would style it in your own home.
"IKEA Place lets you place true-to-scale 3D furniture in your home using the lens of your iPhone camera,” explains an IKEA statement. The technology is so precise, the statement continues, that "furniture is correctly sized down to the millimetre and you can walk right up and get a close up look at fabrics and colours." Wired reported the digitally produced furniture boasts a 98 percent accuracy rating, which is far more accurate than guessing in-store whether a sofa will fit in your petite living room, or if the color of that coffee table truly matches the vision of a neutral-toned color palette.
Cass Hall, customer experience manager at IKEA Australia adds, “Built on Apple’s new ARKit technology, IKEA Place is an important innovation for IKEA. IKEA is one of the first home furnishing brands in the world to bring this technology to people, which will shift the way we purchase furniture in the future.”
Looking Ahead: IKEA App Updates
In 2019, however, IKEA revealed in an interview with Reuters that it will launch an app that bundles the preview features of its IKEA Place app along with its other apps; one where you can browse its catalog of products, and another where you can shop its products remotely.
Barbara Martin Coppola, chief digital officer at IKEA, tells Reuters, “The app is combined with the store experience, with the online experience.”
Currently, this revamped IKEA app is available in France and the Netherlands, where the app initially launched. However, Reuters adds that shoppers in IKEA's major markets including Germany, the United States, and China should have access to the app by the end of 2019.