Doing Business | Innovations

April 06, 2016

Ikea VR Experience Pilot Program Wants To Let You Shop In Virtual Reality

Ikea recently launched an HTC Vive app that has the potential to change the way we think about interior design, and it all starts in the kitchen.

A recent partnership among Ikea, Steam and HTC resulted in a pilot virtual reality kitchen experience that can be enjoyed via the HTC Vive head-mounted headset.

The OEMs manufacturing VR headsets already offer a myriad of different experiences, so it was only a matter of time before users of the Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Rift or HTC Vive could make home improvements using the top technology gadgets.

Ikea's VR Experience enables users to design a kitchen by tapping into one of the three real-world Ikea kitchen designs that serve as models. Admittedly, there is still a long way to go before you can input the dimensions of your home kitchen into the app and start fitting it with Ikea's affordable and practical furniture.

The HTC Vive-enabled VR experience kitchen lets you have a good grasp of how any of the model layouts looks, and customization is available for the color of drawers and cabinets.

What is more, the developers added a neat parent-friendly feature: you can adjust the height of the person walking through the kitchen, so that you can experience it through the eyes of a child.

This is useful as it might lead to better layout ideas for those who have small children and want to avoid possible accidents at all costs.

Gaming fans should know that the Unreal Engine 4 was used to power the app, and developers from the French company Allegorithmic had an important contribution in fitting it all together. The pilot can be found on Steam August, so if you own an HTC Vive headset, give it a whirl.

Even if the current Ikea VR Experience is rather basic, we estimate that in the near future such apps will make home refurbishing quicker and easier, regardless of the room we focus on.

"We also see IKEA VR Experience as an opportunity to co-create with people all around the world," the IT Manager for IKEA Communications, Martin Enthed, says.

Text by Tech Times
 

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