Augmented reality at IKEA – A new frontier in design?

November 8, 2017 11:03 am Published by

New Ikea Place mobile app

If I’m honest the word IKEA sends chills down my spine.

No disrespect to this highly successful brand but when I hear its name what springs to mind are wet Sunday afternoons, packed carparks and an endless, winding corridor full of kids that ends in a queue and a café selling cheap but tasty Swedish meatballs.

So, it took some persuading to get me to download the new IKEA Place mobile app.

I’m glad I did though as it’s a real eye-opener.

The app takes advantage of the newly boosted augmented reality capabilities of today’s phones and is exciting evidence of just how quickly AR, VR and other digital visualisation technologies are advancing and their potential to boost productivity in the workplace.

Once downloaded, you open it up, point your phone’s camera at the floor and access a bulging catalogue of IKEA furniture and fittings. Having chosen the items you like, lo and behold they’re superimposed to scale on the real-world view shown by your camera.

Think about this for a moment.

You can now properly shop IKEA products from the comfort of your armchair, buy online and then sit back and wait for goods to be delivered. With a full returns policy. How many more massive warehouse stores are IKEA going to need with an app like this? Quite…

And of course, what’s true for one sector is often true for another.

We see more and more demand for the use of AR, VR and other digital visualisation technologies in engineering applications to increase productivity.

Drones, for example, provide a fantastic tool for doing topographical surveys. Not only can surveys be done more quickly than by traditional methods, but they also allow for:

  • Extraordinary detail – 500x more data points mean more accurate volumetric calculations and better cost management.

Watch our video at

  • Near photo-realistic models – High res imagery allows the rendering of near photo-realistic topographical models.

You can even explore the resulting surveys as a Virtual Reality experience that can be augmented with computer generated imagery to show future outcomes!

In a similar vein, the latest digital visualisation techniques now make it possible to develop 3D subsurface models that solve the age-old problem of how to successfully communicate the findings of complex ground investigations to stakeholders.

  • Exaggerated 3D block models – Vertical exaggeration of strata thickness to allow fast absorption of the represented data.
  • True Scale 3D models – Georeferenced, true scale models for incorporation into your design process (provided as .dwg plans for use in CAD based software)

What’s more, all the above can be fully geo-referenced and joined together to construct a fully integrated model ready for integration into a Building Information Modelling (BIM) compliant workflow for ongoing detailed design purposes.

Watch our video

See our Hogmoor Case study

So, where we do we all go to next?

I’m not entirely sure, but one thing is for certain the future is going to be even more visual!

Categorised in:

This post was written by Mike Nicholas

Comments are closed here.