Ikea is launching a new virtual design tool today that can make it easier to imagine what your furniture would look like in your home. Ikea Kreativ’s Scene Scanner feature lets you scan a room with Ikea’s iOS app, delete your existing furniture, and then place virtual furniture in its place. If you don’t want to scan your own home, there are also over 50 virtual showrooms for furniture placement. Naturally, the process is designed to encourage you to order these pieces of furniture for real after exploring the virtual versions.
After playing around with a preview version of the Ikea Kreativ Scene Scanner app developed by Ingka Group (Ikea’s largest store franchisee), I can say that the new experience is potentially very useful, even if it’s a bit more restrictive than the presentation. of the company. It makes it seem like there’s no ability to walk around a virtual piece of furniture in augmented reality like we saw with the previous Ikea Place app, but Kreativ does a better job overall of displaying its virtual furniture accurately in the context of your home. It won’t let you skip the tedious process of measuring your rooms to make sure furniture will fit, but it’s a good way to see if an item’s overall design and color scheme will match its surroundings.
The Ikea Kreativ scene scanner starts with a somewhat cumbersome scanning process. He takes a series of photos of a room to build a panoramic shot, and then shakes his phone in a figure eight to capture more visual data. This process is only for iPhones for now (you don’t need a model equipped with a lidar sensor; most modern iPhones should work), but an Android version is planned to be released this summer. Once the scan is complete, you are left with an image to modify directly in the app or on the Ikea website on a desktop computer.
Unless you’re furnishing an empty room, the first step with Ikea’s virtual designer is to empty out the existing furniture. The effect is very similar to the Magic Eraser tool found on Google’s Pixel 6 devices, and like Google’s Magic Eraser tool, results may be inconsistent. In the image below, for example, Ikea’s software didn’t understand where my rug should end up after removing the obscuring armchair, and also has trouble filling the hidden left side of the TV cabinet.
Despite some messy edges, the empty spaces behave as they should once I start adding virtual furniture to the room. Ikea Kreativ currently includes “thousands” of furniture, rugs, accessories and wall décor, according to spokeswoman Kelly Gardiner, and there are plans to add support for additional product categories like ceiling-mounted furniture and textiles over the next year.
I chose a pair of Laiva bookshelves for my living room, which Ikea software allowed me to rotate and move around the space, and did a good job of placing them level with my floor. For the most part, Ikea’s software displayed the bookcase in proportion, though it occasionally cut across other furniture in the room. It’s hard to check if the app got my room’s dimensions exactly, but they were more or less correct after I checked them with a tape measure.
Ikea Kreativ has the potential to be a useful little tool. Although only being able to see virtual furniture in a 2D photo seems restrictive, it seemed to give a much more accurate impression of what it would actually look like in space. In contrast, Ikea’s old Place app displayed virtual furniture at an inconsistent scale in augmented reality, making it difficult to imagine how it might fit into its surroundings.
Ikea Kreativ is available now in the US with a launch in other countries planned for next year. It can be accessed through Ikea’s existing iOS app (required to scan rooms) or through its website.