Furniture shopping is about to get a whole lot easier thanks to Apple's AR Kit and Ikea.
In an exclusive with Bloomberg Businessweek, Tim Cook, Apple CEO said:
We've talked to Ikea and they have 3D images of their furniture line. You're talking about changing the whole experience of how you shop for, in this case, furniture and other objects that you can place around the home.
The plan announced today is for the two companies to collaborate on creating an app that will allow customers to take photos of their own homes, and then position the 3D furniture images where they'd like them to be. The images will be photo-realistic and additionally, Ikea promises that when they launch new products, they will first appear in the AR app.
Ikea boasted to Swedish site Digital.di that the app will be the first of its kind, and they are devoting a great amount of time and money into making it perfect. Ikea's digital transformation manager, Michael Valdsgaard, promises that the app will be so good that the positioning of products will be 'millimeter precise' in addition to coming with accurate sizes and lighting. Upon launch, Valdsgaard says that there will be 500–600 products available.
What is likely going happen is that the first beta of this app is going to be for in-store use. Users will be able to take a photo of their home beforehand and walk into the store in person to browse. Once they find something they like, they will be able to drop the rendering into the photo of their home and position it to their liking. However, Ikea hopes that in the shoppers will also be able to use this in their own homes and purchase the furniture in-app without going to the store in the future.
Valdsgaard told Digital.di that the company is hoping to have this app ready to launch when the ARKit is officially released in the fall of 2017, but that they have a very tight deadline that might not permit them to have all the features that they want to right away.