Home furnishings giant launches augmented reality design app
Ikea is allowing its shoppers to virtually test drive merchandise before making a purchase.
The home furnishings giant is preparing to launch a new augmented reality (AR) app. Called Ikea Place, the app allows customers to virtually place furniture in any space in their home, office, school or studio — and share the images.
The app, which will be supported by Apple’s iOS 11 platform, will launch in late September.
Here’s how it works: After downloading the app, users scan the floor of the room they want to decorate. Customers can access a list of products directly through the app, and select a product to stage.
Merchandise is presented as 3D images. Using their finger, they can move and place the product into their virtual room. The app automatically scales furniture with 98% accuracy. The AR technology also highlights fabric textures, as well as how light and shadows are rendered on furnishings.
Users can also use the app to share images of their virtually staged choices with friends. Purchases can be made through their local Ikea website, according to the company.
More than 2,000 items will be available when the app launches. The first release will focus on larger furniture products for the living room, including the company’s full assortment of sofas, armchairs, footstools, coffee tables and top-selling storage solutions.
In the future, the app will play a key role in the launch of new product lines, according to Ikea.
“Ikea Place makes it easier to make buying decisions in your own place, to get inspired and try many different products, styles and colors in real-life settings with a swipe of your finger,” said Michael Valdsgaard, leader digital transformation at Inter Ikea systems. “Augmented reality and virtual reality will be a total game changer for retail in the same way as the internet. Only this time, much faster.”
The app will be available in Apple’s App store.
The service competes directly with options already available through its rivals. For example, Wayfair’s WayfairView app enables shoppers to see virtual furniture and décor in their homes at full scale before they make a purchase.
Meanwhile, Ashley Furniture was preparing to launch its own virtual reality (VR) and AR initiatives this year. First, the retailer planned to launch an AR shopping app, which will help shoppers see how home furnishings fit into an existing space. It will also feature in-store virtual reality tech bars that will combine a guided iPad-based space configuration experience with VR headset visualization — a move that will allow shoppers to design and visualize their bedrooms, dining rooms or living rooms.
No comments found
Study: Cash-free society could be here sooner than you think
A cash-free economy could be here sooner than expected — and American consumers are leading the charge.
Slightly more than half (54%) of consumers in the United States expect to stop using cash for shopping by 2020, according to “Lost in Transaction,” a report from payments provider Paysafe. The study, conducted among 3,038 consumers in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, examines how cash is merging with digital formats.
There is already rapid movement in this direction, as 54% of American consumers only visit an ATM once a month, and one in seven said they rarely carry cash at all. Meanwhile, two thirds (63%) of people said they rely less on cash than they did a year ago.
American consumers are championing the adoption of new payment methods. In fact, 14% already use cryptocurrencies, and 31% use mobile wallets, such as Android Pay and Apple Pay. This high adoption rate is linked to the increased confidence U.S. consumers have in using their mobile phones for shopping (72%).
Despite leading the way in alternative payment technologies, Americans are still hanging onto some old-fashioned methods. For example, 50% having written a check in the last month, compared to 30% of British consumers, and 40% of Canadians.
The wider adoption of mobile wallets is likewise affected by concerns regarding people’s handsets. Nearly a third (30%) of American consumers said they worried about their phone being stolen, while a quarter did not even want to take their cell phone out to pay. This is despite nearly three fourths (72%) saying they are increasingly confident about using their phone for shopping, according to the study.
“Today, the American consumer experience is defined by a huge diversification of choice – in retail options, services delivery and payment methods,” said Joseph Daly, COO, Paysafe payments processing, North America.
“As consumer acceptance of a cash-free society grows, businesses are challenged to reimagine the shopping experience to allow for behaviors and payment models unthinkable a decade ago,” he added. “In a rapidly transforming landscape, the merchants who survive will have invested early in emerging technologies that enable them to meet a range of customer payments preferences and quell security concerns – from cash and debit cards to mobile payments and eventually biometrics and cryptocurrencies.”
No comments found