Ikea shopping experience will be augmented with AR app for iOS 11

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Ikea will be one of the first companies to launch an augmented reality application on Apple’s upcoming iOS 11 with a view to improving the in-store shopping experience. Ikea hopes that users will bring along photos of their rooms, which they can then use to place digital versions of Ikea furniture in, to give an augmented reality idea of what it might be like to own something new, reports Digital.di, via 9to5Mac.

Apple CEO Tim Cook reiterated several times what a big fan he is of augmented reality and Apple, too, has made it clear that the upgrade to iOS will give the fledgling technology a real leg up. While a number of companies will take advantage of such a move, Ikea is betting big on it and is looking to get in on the ground floor when the new operating system debuts later this year.

Although other companies have toyed with augmented reality as a sales tool, Ikea is putting its AR efforts front and center. While it will launch the app with between 500 and 600 products, any new furniture pieces it sells will show up on the AR app first.

Ikea’s digital transformation manager Michael Valdsgaard believes that augmented reality is the future of the shopping experience. While the app will initially be pushed for use in-store to encourage sales and allow customers to make more informed purchases, the end goal is to have people try out different furniture options digitally while at home, before ordering online.

It is not exactly clear if the new app will be ready for the iOS 11 launch, though Valdsgaard did say that Ikea developers were working to a tight deadline, so it is certainly possible.

This is not the first time Ikea has toyed with augmented reality. Four years ago it released an AR app and AR catalog that helped shoppers visualize furniture in their home. It is not the only one though. Earlier this year FaceCake debuted a smart mirror that let you ‘try out’ different makeup styles using augmented reality.