IKEA has today unveiled a new IKEA VR Experience it has created to help its customers design their new kitchens. Using the newly launched HTC Vive virtual reality headset which has been designed in conjunction with Valve and has today launched being shipped to those who have already pre-ordered the hardware.
The IKEA VR kitchen design application has been created by the French design team at Allegorithmic and harnesses the power of the Unreal Engine 4 games engine which has been created by Epic Games.
IKEA has published the new IKEA VR Experience kitchen design application over on the Steam games network website, making it available to download and use with the new HTC Vive VR equipment. IKEA explains a little more about its features, functions and inspiration :
Put on your VR headset and prepare to explore our kitchen in full 3D. Enjoy walking around and interacting with some parts of it just like you were there. Instantly change the look and feel of the kitchen by selecting a different material finish. Explore the kitchen from a child’s point of view or as a tall person. Find the drawers that can be opened. Pick up a frying pan and place it on the stove. Recycle the vegetable skins in the waste sorting station.
The IKEA VR Experience brings the user a virtual IKEA kitchen in real world size. Using an HTC Vive headset, consumers can use the app to explore one of three differently-styled kitchen room settings. The user can change the color of cabinets and drawers with a click. Another feature is the ability to view the kitchen from different perspectives by either shrinking or stretching yourself to move around the kitchen at the size of a 3.3 foot-tall child or a 6.4 foot-tall adult. This could be useful for the user, since walking around the room in someone else’s shoes enables you to discover hidden dangers or possible design solutions.
The test app, featuring a virtual kitchen experience, is the first foray from IKEA into VR technology. The launch of the app is intended to solicit consumer feedback as IKEA continues to explore the possible implications of the technology for the home. In recent years, IKEA has explored new technology as a way to improve its offer and empower customers. The launch of IKEA VR Experience is one of the steps taken in this effort.
For more information on the new IKEA HTC Vive application jump over to the Steam website for details via the link below.