When I talk about how cool Virtual Reality is we normally end up realising that gaming is the big future for this space, but IKEA today threw a great new idea out there with a Virtual Reality Kitchen app for the HTC VIVE.
Launching on Steam, the gaming platform which PC gamers who connect a HTC VIVE can use to find and experience virtual worlds and games – the IKEA VR Experience is a pilot to test how customers can explore new interactions with their potential new kitchen.
Speaking as someone who spent a lot of money – in IKEA terms – on a whole kitchen from IKEA the experience is very paper based. You can design online but then print it out and hope for the best.
So imagine you can look around,even move around in a virtual version of your new design. Perhaps even see the doors and drawers open and shut.
“Virtual reality is developing fast and in five to ten years it will be an integrated part of people’s lives. We see that virtual reality will play a major role in the future of our customers, for instance it could be used to enable customers to try out a variety of home furnishing solutions before buying them,” says Jesper Brodin, managing director at IKEA of Sweden and Range & Supply Manager at IKEA Group.
“Australians are known for embracing the latest technology and innovations, so virtual reality has the potential to transform the way people interact with our products in the home. We look forward to hearing our customers’ feedback on the experience as we continue to explore this space in the future”, says Tim Prevade, Range Manager for IKEA Australia.
Standing in the VR Kitchen you can change the colours of cabinets with just a click, or shrink yourself down to a child height to see how that might be – helping you find those dangers pointy overhanging edges.
Developed with French company Algorithmic it uses the “Unreal Engine 4” from Epic Games this really is a first of its kind.
It will be continuously updated until August when the pilot program ends.
Now we just need a HTC VIVE:)