Ikea looks to enhance the customer experience with new VR app

Those exploring the app can view their kitchen from the height of a child
Those exploring the app can view their kitchen from the height of a child

Furniture brand Ikea released its first virtual reality (VR) shopping experience via the gaming platform Steam today (5 April).

The pilot app, which Ikea developed in collaboration with French firm Allegorithmic, can be viewed on the HTC Vive headset.

It enables users to explore and customise a life-sized Ikea kitchen, and they can change the colour of cabinets and drawers with a simple click. 

There are also options to interact with products in the room - examples include putting away the recycling and opening up drawers. 

Viewers can change their appearance too. Those inside the app are able to adjust their viewing height to imagine their kitchen through the eyes of a 3.3ft tall child or a 6.4ft tall adult.

Ikea is welcoming feedback from consumers, and plans to continually update its virtual kitchen until the pilot ends in August.

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

Earlier this year the brand hosted an exhibition of collectors' items in London's Dalston, to showcase its storage solutions.

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