Kreativ design app will clear your room to showcase Ikea furniture
Back in 2013, assemble-it-at-home furniture giant Ikea allowed customers to preview furniture placement in their home thanks to a smartphone camera and augmented reality. Now the Kreativ tool takes that a step further by removing existing furniture and replacing it with selected items from the retailer's catalog.
The basic idea behind the Ikea Kreativ AI-driven digital design tool is to allow customers to try before they buy, helping them to visualize potential purchases by placing selected items into one of 50 preset virtual showrooms or in their own living space.
The technology leverages machine learning, computational photography technology, stereo vision algorithms and mixed-reality 3D graphics. Users activate the Kreativ Scene Scanner in the Ikea mobile app and snap a series of photographs to build a "wide-angle, interactive replica of the space, with accurate dimensions and perspective."
Existing furniture can then be erased from the virtual scene thanks to AI algorithms and replaced by selections from the catalog, which can be moved around in the now decluttered virtual environment and rotated to fit the space.
The new layout can be saved to a customer's account for further tweaking later or shared with friends and family to gauge opinions. Saved virtual rooms are stored in the cloud, allowing access from anywhere with a network connection, and customers can even take their living spaces to an actual bricks-and-mortar Ikea store using to size up products while browsing the aisles.
At the end of the virtual design exercise, items deemed a good fit can then be added to the cart and the ordering process completed.
The Ikea Kreativ tool for mobile or laptop was developed by Silicon Valley's Geomagical Labs, which is owned by Ikea's largest retailer, the Ingka Group, and is available now for iOS and laptop users in the US, followed by an Android version later in the Northern Hemisphere summer. Customers in other countries will gain access some time next year.
"Ingka Group is passionate about helping people create a better life at home, and we continuously look to add value to our customers’ experience, both on and offline," said the Group's Parag Parekh. "Through the innovative, intuitive technology of Geomagical Labs and simple digital experience, we believe Ikea Kreativ will break down barriers to shopping for home furnishing, empowering people to go from inspiration to reality and design their perfect home."