Leading retailer IKEA have found that 14 percent of their customers end up taking home furniture which turns out to be the wrong size for their living rooms. With augmented reality, customers of the Swedish company can now try out certain products in their homes. Simply by using a mobile application and a smartphone or tablet you can now see how the furniture will look, and fit.
To use the new service, you download the free 2014 IKEA Catalogue application for iOS or Android. When the application is launched, the onboard camera on the device can be used to zone in on an orange cross to the bottom right of one of 90 product pages.
An icon will then show on the screen with allows the user to enter into AR mode. The application then asks the user to close the printed version of the catalogue and place it in the spot where the customer will intend to use the new furniture. The approximate dimensions of the virtual furniture are based on the size of the physical, real world IKEA catalogue.
The camera will activate again and a product outline will appear in the frame. This can then be repositioned, rotated and adjusted so that it will look right. Lastly, a virtual version of the new sofa, bookcase or desk with the room in the background will show onscreen.
IKEA have treated over 50 pages of the new catalogue with enhanced content which will allow the user to access additional product information, 360 degree room views and videos. It is a cool system and we can see other companies adopting a similar system in the future.
Kitguru says: Augmented reality to shop for furniture? Very sci-fi, but practical as well.