Plenty of think pieces have imagined the potential of augmented reality reaching the masses, but when it suddenly did — would the tech industry actually put its money where its mouth is? Could we? Without any guidelines or best practices to rely on, we aimed to find out and started working on IKEA Place.
Placing furniture in augmented reality has always been an obvious use case, so much so that it’s easily taken for granted. Yet the potential importance for IKEA cannot be overstated. Today, not everyone is on the doorstep of an IKEA store, and nearly 40 percent of people deal with an “imagination gap”: a lack of confidence in taking risks regarding changes in their homes. There’s never been a more essential time for IKEA to innovate and find new ways to reach people. With augmented reality, they can suddenly meet people wherever they are. AR is a way to bridge the imagination gap and not only continue to democratize design but potentially democratize interior design, too.
We felt an obligation to fulfill this potential and knew that the only way we’d stand a chance would be by putting the people front and center. It’s easy to get caught up in the technology and just look at the innovation of AR, but that would be a limited point of view. Instead, we ensured we worked closely with IKEA, of course, and involved many other points of view, in order to make IKEA Place as natural to use as possible.