Today Ikea is launching a pilot virtual reality app called the Ikea VR Experience as the first HTC Vive headsets begin to ship. The app, built using the Unreal Engine 4 from Epic Games, puts Vive headset owners into a virtual Ikea kitchen of real-world size. Users can then change the cabinet and drawer colors for three different kitchens, and view it from the height of a child or adult. Ikea already offers customers several robust 3D planning tools to help design and visualize kitchens, wardrobes, and storage areas down to the millimeter. The Ikea VR Experience is clearly no match for those… yet.
As a first foray into VR, the app is intended to solicit feedback as Ikea explores the next steps. “Virtual reality is developing quickly and in five to ten years it will be an integrated part of people’s lives,” says Jesper Brodin, managing director at IKEA of Sweden. “We see that virtual reality will play a major role in the future of our customers. For instance, someday, it could be used to enable customers to try out a variety of home furnishing solutions before buying them.”
The IKEA VR Experience is available now as a free-to-play HTC Vive game on Steam. It will be updated continuously until the pilot test comes to an end in August.