Ikea Tests Virtual Reality App

App enables testing different colors of kitchen cabinets
April 6, 2016Allison Zisko

Ikea logoCONSHOHOCKEN, Pa.—Ikea is testing the virtual reality waters with a new app that provides a virtual kitchen experience, enabling customers to envision three differently styled room settings.

The pilot virtual reality app, called the IKEA VR Experience, has been released on video game developer Valve’s game platform, Steam. Ikea said the launch of the app is intended to solicit consumer feedback as it continues to explore the possible implications of the technology for the home.

“Virtual reality is developing quickly and in five to 10 years, it will be an integrated part of people’s lives,” said Jesper Brodin, managing director at Ikea of Sweden and range and supply manager at Ikea Group. “We see that virtual reality will play a major role in the future of our customers. For instance, someday it could be used to enable customers to try out a variety of home furnishing solutions before buying them.”

The IKEA VR Experience brings the user a virtual Ikea kitchen in real world size. Using an HTC Vive headset, consumers can use the app to explore one of three differently styled kitchen room settings. The user can change the color of cabinets and drawers with a click. Another feature is the ability to view the kitchen from different perspectives by either shrinking or stretching one to move around the kitchen at the size of a 3.3 foot-tall child or a 6.4 foot-tall adult, which can reveal hidden dangers or possible design solutions.

“We also see IKEA VR Experience as an opportunity to co-create with people all around the world. We hope that users will contribute to our virtual reality development by submitting ideas on how to use virtual reality and how to improve the virtual kitchen,” said Martin Enthed, IT manager for Ikea Communications, the in-house communication agency at Ikea of Sweden.

Allison ZiskoAllison Zisko | Managing Editor/Tabletop Editor
azisko@hfnmag.com

After 15 years of covering the tabletop industry, Allison Zisko is still as enthusiastic as ever about the dinnerware, glassware and flatware categories. An in-depth analysis of how the category works intrigues her just as much as the latest fashion trends. As managing editor, Allison oversees the daily e-newsletter and works behind the scenes to help produce the print issue each month. She also directs HFN’s housewares coverage and covers the cutlery category. An avid reader, Allison is eager to talk to anyone and everyone about the latest book they are reading.

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