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Ikea’s new AR app will change how you buy furniture

Launched last week, Ikea Place enables users to virtually position chairs, wardrobes and coffee tables in a room of their choice.

Sometimes, when we take home a seemingly perfect-looking new chair or coffee table, it doesn’t look quite right. Perhaps it doesn’t fit exactly where it should; maybe the colours don’t match the walls.

It’s a common-enough problem – and one that Ikea’s new app wants to eradicate.

Ikea Place, which launched last week, allows users to virtually place items of furniture in their home, studio, office or school.

More than 2,000 products are already available on the augmented reality (AR) app, including harder-to-scale items like wardrobes, sofas and armchairs. Now, they’re scaled automatically according to a room’s dimensions.

The technology, which Ikea says is 98% accurate, goes as far as replicating light conditions and shadows. It even lets users see the texture of the furniture’s fabric.

In addition to placing products, the AR app also captures them in situ – which means users can share videos and images with family members or housemates.

Michael Valdsgaard, Inter Ikea Systems’ leader of digital transformation, said “a swipe of a finger” now allows consumers to “try out many different products, styles and colours in real-life settings”.

“Augmented reality and virtual reality will be a total game changer for retail in the same way as the internet,” he added. “Only this time, much faster.”