Kinks Aside, This New Furniture App Could Change How People Shop

Photo: Ikea Now

In just four weeks, a trio of self-proclaimed nerds from California may have found a way to change furniture shopping for good.Ikea Now is a free app that lets shoppers visualise how a piece of furniture would look in their home before they purchase it. While you aim your smartphone camera at an area of your home, you pick an item from the app’s  mobile catalogue, which will “insert” the image into the photo.

“We just built this as an experiment to find out whether this would help consumers make purchase decisions easier and quicker,” co-creator Andy Kim told Business Insider. 

From concept to creation, the app took a month to complete –– and after testing the app out myself, it’s clear the team was aiming for a quick launch rather than perfecting the product.  

For starters, the app features a mere 50 products to choose from. IKEA probably makes a hundred times that many, but Kim said they’re working nonstop to add new products every month.

You can also only align your camera vertically to use the app, which makes it difficult to get a wide image of a room to see how a piece will look. “We omitted the horizontal orientation in lieu of shipping the product as quickly as possible but we are building that feature as we speak and it should go out in the next release or the release after that,” Kim explained. 

In addition, they’ll roll out other features like the ability to share photos on social media, create a shopping list on the fly, and an Android version.

Given the fact that they’ve chosen to name their website somewhat generically (, it’s safe to say they plan on expanding the app to more retailers in the future. Once they’ve worked through the kinks and made the app a bit more intuitive, there’s no doubt it could add a whole new dimension to the shopping experience.

See Also: 25 brilliant ways to hack IKEA furniture > 

Scroll down to see images from my test run: 

It was difficult to get the chair to lie flush with the floor.


Photo: M. Woodruff/Business Insider


And the graphics don’t exactly blend in with the live image.


Photo: M. Woodruff/Business Insider

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