New App Brings IKEA’s Product Catalogue to Life

Augmented reality brings a new dimension to catalog shopping.

As expected, the 2014 IKEA lineup is centered on a theme of family spaces and making home with a wide selection of attractive furnishings and accessories. This time the biggest trend is the ability for catalogue users to interact with the rooms they would like to furnish, in a filmic, 3D virtual environment.

To complement its 2014 catalogue, IKEA built an app for iOS and Android that allows shoppers to scan select pages in the catalogue and access related content on a mobile device. The app features videos of designers talking about the products they created for IKEA, alongside cute stop-motion animations of toys moving about a child’s room and other video content.

One vingette featured in the app.

Other pages unlock a slideshow of different views of a room, including pictures of styled vignettes. These photos aren’t there to explain what the arrangement of the room was, so much as to convey an atmosphere, which they do fairly successfully.

The third type of interactive feature allows the user to scan a page in the catalogue and place IKEA furniture from that page in their own space. It’s an entertaining feature, and the app allows you to rotate and drag furniture around your room with ease.

IKEA’s app allows users to put furniture in their own spaces.

The app also allows users to download the entire catalogue to their device, flip through the products featured on each page, and view them on the mobile site. On a tablet, the app may work as a substitute for the paper catalogue, but on a phone it works better as a companion. Presumably, IKEA will add more content to the app in coming years, making it a robust platform for exploring IKEA’s collection.

Check out our conversation with IKEA’s Creative Director of Home Furnishings Mia Lundstrom at this year’s Parson New School for Design AFTERTASTE symposium on our Vimeo feed.

Samantha Macy is a blogger and designer interning at Metropolis.

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