IKEA embraces virtual reality shopping with HTC Vive app

IKEA isn’t a company synonymous with bleeding-edge technology, but virtual reality and online retail seem to go very well together. At least judging by the company’s latest move.

In a bid to sell more online, the Swedish company has announced a virtual reality test app that features a “virtual kitchen experience,” and effectively lets the shopper use products from the IKEA catalogue, build a kitchen and even change perspectives.

IKEA explains that “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,” the company adds.

The user can also change kitchen colours and finishes too, whether that be cabinets or drawers, at a tap of the mouse.

The app, built using Unreal Engine 4 by French developer Allegorithmic, is available on Steam and will work in conjunction with the HTC Vive VR headset.

Andy Walker
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