IKEA is one of Apple’s launch partners for the augmented reality features in iOS 11. The two companies are working on an AR app that will enable people to try out virtual furniture in their homes before they actually buy it. The app depends on the AR features that will be coming out in iOS 11.

Ikea virtual furniture

Apple talks virtual furniture in iOS 11 keynote

Apple management mentioned IKEA very briefly in the iOS 11 keynote and mentioned the virtual furniture app, although they didn’t say a lot about it. They did mention that the Swedish furniture retailer has 3D images of its entire furniture line.

The virtual furniture app will be one of the first to be built using Apple’s ARKit, the augmented reality SDK that will be supported in iOS 11. Apple is enabling developers to build their own AR apps for the iOS ecosystem using the SDK.

IKEA describes its virtual furniture app

IKEA has been making efforts to use digital tools to increase its sales for some time. It has a number of web tools, like the one for consumers to design and put together a layout for its kitchen counters before they head to the IKEA store to purchase the counters. Now the company has filled in Swedish-language site Di Digital about the new partnership with Apple.

The furniture retailer explained that their new virtual furniture app will be the first augmented reality app that will enable consumers to “make buying decisions,” a spokesperson for the Swedish company told the website. The app will make it possible for customers to try furniture in their homes to see how it looks before actually buying it. At first, it may not be possible for customers to actually pay for the future inside the app, the spokesperson added, although that is the ultimate goal for it.

Details on Apple and IKEA’s new app

Spokesperson Michael Valdsgaard explained to Di Digital that whenever they launch new furniture products, they will be listed toward the top of the list inside the augmented reality app. He estimates that when the virtual furniture app launches, there will be between 500 and 600 different products available to try out.

He sees Apple’s expertise in technology as a key component to everything they know. He believes Apple’s AR platform will become the biggest in the world overnight, and he called the idea “super interesting.”