Experiential Retail: Ikea

IKEA has taken its Place app and harnessed its capabilities to create IKEA Studio, for a more realistic home furnishing experience.

Image Courtesy: New Market

The Swedish multinational conglomerate, Ikea, is the world’s largest furniture retail company which is not only known for its cost-effective, eco-friendly modern designs, but also for its business innovation worldwide.

Ikea's experiential activity has spanned a number of formats, from an immersive exhibition that celebrated the joy of storage, to pop-ups and from breakfast in bed café complete with waiting for staff to in-store festivals.

The Ikea Place app released four years back, offered us to place single pieces of furniture in real-world environments; now evolved to Ikea studio, offering a new AR design application that allows users to customize entire rooms with IKEA brand furniture and decorations.

Image courtesy: wi-images

Watch the video of the IKEA experience.

Evolution in IKEA’s Digital Experience

IKEA was an early adopter of Apple’s powerful ARKit platform with its Place application released back in 2017 for iOS. It allowed placing single pieces of AR furniture and decorations throughout the real-world environment. The app has received major updates with a new interface, improved curation, support for viewing entire rooms in augmented reality, and more.

While IKEA largely started the AR app trend four years ago, since more brands are catching on, the retail tech company turned to SPACE10 to transform IKEA Place App into IKEA Studio, a re-energized and sensor-oriented AR experience.

Ikea Studio

Ikea Studio is developed by IKEA’s own Copenhagen-based studio SPACE10 innovative lab. It is offering a new AR design application that allows users to customize entire rooms with IKEA brand furniture and decorations.

The AR technology implemented by Ikea is 98% precise, and will even display the texture of the fabric, how light and shadows are rendered on furnishings.

Features in the latest version

  • The latest version of Studio allows you to change wall colors, arrange multiple pieces of furniture if they fit well together.

  • The AR room can be created from scratch in the app and exported in 2D or 3D for critique.

  • It lets you capture complete 3D room plans with manual measurements, including windows and doors, and it detects your existing furniture and places white boxes on the plan where your current chairs, tables, sofa reside.

  • You can also stack digital furniture on top of each other, like placing a lamp or potted plant on a shelf. Some of these items even feature simple interactive elements.

  • Basically, it offers to furnish entire rooms under different projects, be it a living room, kitchen or bedroom.

This new technology creates a mesh scale capable of identifying objects, surfaces, and the geometry of your real-world space, emerging in more realistic AR experiences. This iOS-exclusive app works by capturing 3D room plans and measurements using the LiDAR sensors featured on the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. Owning an iPhone 12 Pro or iPhone 12 Pro Max you can download the LiDAR-powered experience.

Closing the Omnichannel gap

A unified customer experience across digital and traditional channels, covered with the aid of such Augmented Reality Applications, boosts customer engagement and provides a method to create a Phygital brand universe.

The consumer preference insights are also taken into consideration along it. AR apps are boosting e-commerce sales with easier visualizations. These insights also aid in better purchasing decisions and optimize the supply chain playing a vital role in the IKEA supply chain and make sure the process is performed in a professional way, securing all requirements related to availability, cost, quality & sustainability.

Future visions

Though the iOS app is up and running, SPACE10 is experimenting with prospective WebAR solutions, which would allow customers to access AR design experiences directly from the official IKEA website (without the need for an iOS or Android app). The popular web browsers including Chrome, Mozilla, Safari are working for better solutions in AR experiences.

The app is available for Beta in Spain, Sweden, and South Korea on iOS devices, worldwide users can sign up here for updates in your area.


The Team:

Shriya Madan, an ardent learner, a digital enthusiast, aspires to make an impact in the real world with the power of technology

Pranjali Apurva, driven by curiosity, converging design principles with digital transformation

BLVCK PiXEL is a Digital Innovation Consultancy headquartered in Paris. We aim to bridge the gap between Technology & Business through Design-led Strategy. Connect with us.