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Ikea’s virtual shopping app for iOS 11 will let you try before you buy

The joy of shopping for Ikea furniture mainly comes from roaming around a series of perfectly Scandi mock-rooms and pretending they’re yours for the day, finishing off with a plate of meatballs and some Daim cake, then going home with a tiny free pencil.
But for the lazy days when you’d rather stick to your own sofa, Ikea has a solution: an AR app that lets you visualise its furniture inside your own living room using your iPhone.
Michael Valdsgaard, Leader of Digital Transformation at Ikea, told Digital.Di that the Swedish company is working with Apple to co-build an augmented reality shopping app for iOS 11 that will let you place items to the exact millimetre in an AR version of your own house.
As well as being a handy tool for shoppers who can’t make it into an Ikea store, the app would enhance the shopping experience in-store, letting customers see a piece of furniture like a sofa inside their own living room before they jot down its digits and grab it at the warehouse.
Ikea is planning to add all its new products to the app when they come out, meaning there shouldn’t be a single bargain coffee table, bunk-bed or kitchen unit you can’t envisage in an AR version of your own pad. The company hopes to have around 500 to 600 items ready to view in 3D at launch.
Valdsgaard says the big hope is to let customers purchase items from the app if they’re pleased with the way they look in their home, but it’s not a feature they can promise when the app first launches, which should be some time later this year.
Apple’s new iPhone 8 launches this September, and is tipped to feature an AR-enhanced camera, so Ikea’s AR shopping experience is well-timed. Apple’s latest operating system and new home to the Ikea AR app, iOS 11, is rolling out later this month.

Related: Apple VR Headset

Do you think Ikea’s AR could make people more likely to buy? Tell us in the comments.