When Apple introduced ARKit earlier this year, they trotted out IKEA as one of the companies it was working with to build an augmented reality app that lets customers see furniture as it would appear in their home.
While the Swedish furniture monger did not make an appearance during Apple's annual autumn product ritual, it did unveil the app that was promised. Called IKEA Places, the app will be available in the App Store in late September.
The app is by no means a novel idea; in fact, IKEA introduced a basic version of this concept to its catalog app for iOS and Android in 2013. However, ARKit has enabled IKEA to enhance the experience.
According to IKEA, the app attains 98 percent accuracy, using ARKit's surface detection and scaling capabilities to capture the dimensions of a room in lieu of depth-sensing cameras. The app also makes use of ARKit's light estimation abilities to give the virtual models a more realistic appearance, which can be captured in photos and videos for sharing with others.
"ARKit gives us the opportunity to help shape the development of AR as an accessible tool for real-life decision making," said Michael Valdsgaard, leader of digital transformation at Inter IKEA Systems, in a statement.
The app will showcase more than 2000 products at launch, with an emphasis on living room furniture. Of course, these items can be purchased directly from the app, with IKEA expecting to make the app a key tactic for launching future product lines.
"IKEA Place makes it easier to make buying decisions in your own place, to get inspired and try many different products, styles, and colors 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," said Valdsgaard.
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