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Coming to an iPhone Near You: Virtual Furnished Rooms, Courtesy of Ikea

The Swedish home-furnishings juggernaut is taking advantage of a new augmented reality app from Apple to let customers "test drive" furniture before they buy it.

Insert furniture here. | Photo: Ikea

When you’ve gone furniture shopping, chances are you’ve strolled through dozens of sample rooms and oohed and ahhed over how great they look.

Then you went home empty-handed because you weren’t sure that your actual room would look like that in the end.

If this sounds familiar, you might be interested in this bit of news that came our way via Architectural Digest.

Apple Inc. has come up with an augmented-reality program called ARKit that lets iPhone and iPad users use the technology to alter their reality via dozens of third-party applications.

One of those apps comes from Ikea.

It’s called Ikea Place, and it does what its name implies: it lets you place Ikea furniture in the actual room where you intend to put it to see how well it fits.

“Many people are uncertain about changing their furnishings because they’re afraid of making the wrong decision,” Michael Valdsgaard, leader of digital transformation at Inter Ikea Systems BV, told AD. Or, he continued, shoppers may end up returning an item they loved in the store because it doesn’t fit their space. Ikea Place lets them avoid that hassle by experimenting with items, colors and locations to see how a particular piece of furniture will work in their own rooms.

If they decide the furniture fits, they can then buy it online by connecting to Ikea’s e-commerce site.

The app will be available along with the rollout of iOS 11 on Apple’s next scheduled update.

“This is AR for the people,” said Valsgaard. “Anyone can pick up an iPhone and get going; this is just the beginning of truly exponential change.”

With Apple’s New ARKit, IKEA Created an App That Could Revolutionize Furniture Shopping [Architectural Digest]


Sandy Smith Home and Real Estate Editor @MarketStEl
ssmith@phillymag.com