IKEA has been one of the foremost names in the AR application space ever since its debut AR app, IKEA Place. It has since dedicated resources through its design and research lab, SPACE10, to explore the future of home technology. Combining the latest developments in spatial computing and IKEA’s knowledge of interior decor, SPACE10, developed a new AR application called IKEA Studio. Unlike IKEA Place where you can check out how a furniture item might fit in a space, IKEA Studio lets you design an entire room right from your phone.
The app, which is currently only available on iOS, uses LIDAR sensors in iPhones (available only on the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max) to scan an entire room and generate a 3D model. The app can identify windows, doorways, and existing furniture such as shelves, chairs, and tables. The app digitally erases detected objects and furniture items to make redesigning the room easier. This makes the room like a blank slate for you to test out your designs.
Using the 3D model of your room, you can change the wall color and place furniture items around the room. You can even place a virtual lamp or potted plants on another virtual surface, such as a table or shelf. You can also interact with some items such as lamps, which you can turn on or off. The 3D model of the room also includes the ceiling of the room, so you can test out suspended lights if you want to. When you are done with your designs, you can share them in 3D or 2D formats for people to make comments.
Although the application was developed for mobile phones, Digital Design Lead at SPACE10, Tommy Campbell says AR glasses are also being explored for what they can do with the app. Moving forward, SPACE10 will focus on building IKEA Studio with both mobile and glasses platforms in my mind. The lab is also considering putting up their AR apps on the web so more people can have access to it. The company has begun exploring various WebAR solutions to achieve this.
IKEA Studio is still a relatively new app and is currently in open beta. As time goes on, more features will be added. According to Tommy, some of the features currently being worked on are a wall painting feature and a wall storage feature. The wall storage feature uses machine learning to determine the best combination of storage items that fit a chosen space. If you would like to test the available features, you can sign up for the beta program here. You will be sent an email from TestFlight with further instructions if you are eligible.
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