IKEA is bringing virtual reality to its Australian stores

Getty/John Moore

IKEA is today launching a new virtual reality experience for customers at home that will allow you to design your own kitchen.

The Swedish retailer is using HTC’s Vive headset for the Ikea VR Experience, which will allow potential customers to build their own kitchen and even walk around it.

“Virtual reality is developing fast and in five to ten years it will be an integrated part of people’s lives,” says Jesper Brodin, managing director at IKEA of Sweden and Range & Supply Manager at IKEA Group.

“We see that virtual reality will play a major role in the future of our customers. For instance it could be used to enable customers to try out a variety of home furnishing solutions before buying them.”

This is what the experience looks like.

IKEA is pushing two key features of the new VR service, with one of those being the ability to change the colours of drawers and cabinets in the kitchen with just one tap. Another allows the ability to either shrink yourself into the size of a child or enlarge yourself to someone very tall to help improve safety.

At this stage the Ikea VR Experience is just a pilot and will continuously be updated until August.

IKEA is the first major retailer to implement virtual reality into its shopping experience, which is one of the areas that the technology is expected to revolutionise. Travel agencies are also going to benefit hugely from VR, allowing customers to experience destinations in the virtual world before they book them in the real world.