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IKEA adopts VR for this really freakin’ cool reason

It was only a matter of time before someone invented virtual reality shopping. Swedish home furniture company IKEA recently announced that it is testing a virtual reality app for shopping for IKEA products.

Always on the forefront

When you think about virtual reality, you usually imagine interactive video games and movies filed in 3D. But as any regular AG reader will have realized by now, the potential applications for virtual reality are nearly endless, and companies and developers continue to come up with new, creative ways to implement the technology.

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Design and experience a room before you buy it

It was only a matter of time before someone invented virtual reality shopping. Swedish home furniture company IKEA recently announced that it is testing a virtual reality app for shopping for IKEA products. The app offers a “virtual kitchen experience” that allows a shopper wearing a VR headset to walk around inside a virtual 3D kitchen that they design with products from the IKEA catalogue. A representative from Ikea explained:

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 yourself to move around the kitchen at the size of a 3.3 foot-tall child or a 6.4 foot-tall adult. This could be useful for the user, since walking around the room in someone else’s shoes enables you to discover hidden dangers or possible design solutions.

Using the app, shoppers can test different colors, finishes, countertops, and cabinets, designing their dream kitchen, then walking around inside of it in virtual reality.

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Available on Steam

Ikea has already been pushing the edges of interactive shopping technology. In 2013 the company released its “augmented reality” catalogue, which allows shoppers to explore different furnishing options by placing their tablet or smartphone where the desired piece of furniture will be placed in their home, then flipping through different furniture options.

The virtual reality app is available on Steam and is compatible with the HTV Vive VR headset.

#IKEAVR

Ellen Vessels, a Staff Writer at The American Genius, is respected for their wide range of work, with a focus on generational marketing and business trends. Ellen is also a performance artist when not writing, and has a passion for sustainability, social justice, and the arts.

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