A trip to Ikea is either your dream come true, or your worst nightmare. While some enjoy spending hours walking through the modern furniture retailer’s 400,000-square-foot warehouses, others dread it, almost as much as they dread actually putting the furniture together.
Ikea hears your complaints loud and clear—so much so that they’ve created a virtual reality app so you never have to go into the store again. Okay, so, maybe that’s not exactly the reason this app was made, but it’s still a pretty cool piece of technology.
The Swedish company recently announced a pilot virtual reality app that allows for a selective, easy shopping experience and is hosted on Valve’s world leading game platform, Steam. Using an HTC Vive headset, Ikea customers can explore various styled kitchens and change colors of cabinets and drawers with a simple click. By allowing users to virtually put themselves in a room, consumers can design their dream space while also noticing possible issues and determining which items need to be moved around.
Though this pilot program will only run through August, Ikea launched it with the goal of receiving feedback from their customers to help with the possibility of a continued virtual experience program.
In the company’s official press release, Jesper Brodin, managing director at IKEA of Sweden and range and supply manager at IKEA Group says that, “Virtual reality is developing quickly 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, someday, it could be used to enable customers to try out a variety of home furnishing solutions before buying them.”
Ikea hopes those who use the app will submit their feedback so they can use it as they continue to develop their ideas for using virtual reality technology to improve home designing. For those who love Pinterest, or don’t live near an Ikea, a virtual reality design tool could be useful for putting together your dream home. Maybe, just maybe, this is Ikea’s way of saying sorry for all the meltdowns it has caused.