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Ikea brings its furniture catalog into virtual reality

Monday, August 28th, 2017 | Gadgets

Immersed comfortably from the domestic living room into the Ikea world and look for new furniture – without a printed Ikea catalog. This is what the Swedish furniture house wants to achieve and has launched a virtual reality application. The so-called "Ikea VR device experience" can be used via the VR glasses from the Facebook subsidiary Oculus.

          In the virtual Ikea world, users can combine a variety of products such as sofas, tables, or kitchenettes, and configure them according to their tastes. The VR application is the latest project from the Cologne-Hamburg-based digital agency Demdern and was presented a few days ago during the presentation of the new IKEA catalog 2018 in Hamburg. From October, the virtual furniture experience for Oculus owners will be available – so for a comparatively small usergroup. If you do not have such data glasses, you will soon be able to taste the taste of the Oculus glasses at the Ikea-Haus Berlin-Lichtenberg. Further branches are to follow. "Digital innovations and technologies such as VR and AR take a firm place in the communication strategy of many companies and brands, so we are all the more pleased that Ikea is also working together with demoders to find new ways," says Demander CEO Alexander El-Meligi The Ikea VR device experience, according to Demdern, is one of the first VR applications that integrates an Omnichannel approach: All Ikea products can be virtually configured, favored and transferred to a memo by the user. This can be loaded again for the further purchase in the Ikea-Onlineshop or in the Einrichtungshaus on the smartphone. The project builds on the experiences of a VR application "Virtual Home Experience" realized in autumn last year. Visitors to the furniture store in Berlin-Lichtenberg were able to experience the possibilities of Virtual Reality by installing three stations with permanently installed Oculus Rift CV1 spectacles. The Swedes were obviously also interested in Augmented Reality. In June, the company announced an Augmented Reality app that allows users to place a wardrobe or sofa virtually in the room. The necessary technology delivers no less than Apple. As Michael Valdsgaard, responsible for Ikea's digital transformation, told the Swedish website digital.di at the time, the world's most successful furniture store chain wants to improve the shopping experience with the augmented reality app. "This is the first AR app to allow a reliable purchase decision," says Valdsgaard. According to the Ikea manager, furniture can be placed in the room with the application in a millimeter-exact way. A similar function was already available in the Ikea catalog app, but the new app is much more accurate. Possibly, the furniture could also be purchased within the app. But that was not quite certain. The app should start as soon as the launch of the new operating system iOS 11, but according to Valdsgaard is unlikely. ron





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