Apple and Ikea are working together to build an AR-based shopping app.
In an interview with Swedish site Di Digital, Ikea’s digital transformation manager Michael Valdsgaard revealed the AR app will be the first of its kind "that will enable you to make buying decisions". Valdsgaard went on to say that customers can try out virtual furniture at home with the app before buying them. There are also plans to enable purchase of furniture within the app in future.
Scheduled for release in the fall this year, Valdsgaard states that there would be about 500 to 600 products available in the AR app. As and when new products are launched, they would appear first in the app.
When asked about the partnership with Apple, the Ikea executive is said to be very optimistic. Valdsgaard feels that Apple's know-how and advances in the AR field will be a great complement to its expertise in home furniture. Ikea could also benefit from Apple's huge base of customers, which could become the world's biggest AR platform overnight.
There are already signs that Apple is going all out for AR. At the recent WWDC 2017, Apple unveiled ARKit which will allow developers to make use of the iPhone’s cameras and various sensors to create AR content on the iPhone.
Bloomberg also reported extensively on how AR is going to be the next big thing for Apple as the iPhone maker assembled a multi-disciplinary team to develop AR products and integrate some of its features with its current products. Several industry sources also told UBS analyst Steven Milunovich that there are over 1,000 engineers working on AR for the iPhone 8.