Thought virtual reality was just a fad? Think again. From Snapchat filters, Pokémon Go expeditions and now, the redesigning the home, augmented reality is changing the way we experience, experiment and share in life’s moments. IKEA, never one to stay behind the times, has announced the launch of IKEA Place, an augmented reality (AR) application that lets people ‘design’ any space, such as a home, office, school or studio, through their smartphone or tablet. From sofas and armchairs to coffee tables, all of the products in IKEA Place are 3D and true to scale, so that any choice will suit both form and function.

“IKEA Place makes it easier to make buying decisions in your own place, to get inspired and try many different products, styles and colours in real-life settings with a swipe of your finger. Augmented reality and virtual reality will be a total game changer for retail in the same way as the internet. Only this time, much faster. ARKit gives us the opportunity to help shape the development of AR as an accessible tool for real-life decision making,” says Michael Valdsgaard, Leader Digital Transformation at Inter IKEA Systems.

Cass Hall, Customer Experience Manager, 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. IKEA Place and this AR technology will see IKEA redefine the experience for furniture retail once more, in our restless quest to create a better everyday life for everyone, everywhere”.

The IKEA Place app automatically scales products – based on room dimensions – with 98% accuracy. The AR technology is so precise that you will be able to see the texture of the fabric, as well as how light and shadows are rendered on your furnishings. In addition to digitally placing IKEA products in a room, the app allows people to capture the room setting and share it as an image or video with friends.

More than 2,000 IKEA products will be available in the app at launch, and the app will play a key role in the launch of new product lines. The products in the first release are aligned to the living room, reflecting the focus for IKEA in 2018.

Tiffany Buckins, Head of Interior Design for IKEA Australia said, “The launch of IKEA Place is an exciting milestone. We understand that the world is changing and that technology is impacting the way we live at home, especially in the living room. People want to make more out of their space, they are looking for flexibility that reflects their everyday lives and all the different activities that take place in the living room. Technology like IKEA Place coupled with inspiring living room solutions, is one way IKEA hopes to help create a better everyday life for Australians.

To celebrate the launch of IKEA Place, IKEA will be taking the new AR technology to the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) in Melbourne in October, launching the ‘Make Room for Life’ exhibition.

“Through the Make Room for Life Exhibition we will draw on our understanding of how people live at home, combining sensory elements, AR technology, inspiration and our home furnishing expertise to inspire people to design their living room for what’s most important to them,” says Tiffany.

Keep your eyes peeled on the App Store, as IKEA Place will be available to download soon.

See more from IKEA’s light and bright 2018 collection: