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Ikea’s using the iPhone’s AR kit to sell you even more furniture

Published Jun 19th, 2017 4:46PM EDT
Ikea App
Image: Apple

One of the bigger announcements to come out of WWDC was Apple’s unveiling of ARKit. In one fell swoop, Apple dove head first into the world of augmented reality and gave developers the requisite frameworks to build incredibly engaging and realistic augmented reality apps and experiences.

“When you bring the software together with these devices, we have hundreds of millions of iPhones and iPads capable of AR,” Craig Federighi said last week during the WWDC keynote. “Overnight it will make ARKit the largest AR platform in the world.”

Now comes word via Digital Di that Ikea is teaming up with Apple to create a new AR based app that will enable consumers to visualize what certain pieces of furniture will look like inside of their own home.

“This will be the first augmented reality app that allows you to make reliable buying decisions,” Michael Valdsgaard of Ikea explained. What’s more, Valdsgaard added that when Ikea launches new products in the future, they will appear inside of the company’s AR app first.

At launch, Ikea anticipates 500-600 individual items will appear in its AR app.

For the time being, the app will only enable users to visualize furniture in their homes, though Ikea would eventually like to give users the ability to purchase products from within the app.

“It is our ambition, but I can not promise that it will work in the first version,” Valdsgaard said. “Ideally, you could put a sofa in your home with the help of the app, and then with one click add it to your shopping cart on the e-commerce site. But we have a tight deadline.”

Nonetheless, the app should prove to be especially useful for in-store shoppers curious about how a specific piece of furniture might look in their house or apartment.

As for why Ikea opted to partner up with Apple, the company said it was attracted to Apple’s incredibly large installed base of iPhones and iPads. And echoing Federighi’s remarks above, Valdsgaard said that iOS “will be the largest AR platform in the world overnight.”

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.

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