Tim Bichara

Ikea’s augmented reality catalogue

Ikea is working on an augmented reality app that is designed to compliment its 2013 catalogue.

By hovering over the catalogue with your smartphone, using the app, you’ll be able to see additional content such as videos and photo galleries of certain items. You’ll also be able to check whether the item is in stock and if so order it directly.

The app uses Metalo technology to recognise items direct from the catalogue, rather than having to rely on those marketer’s favourites – QR codes.

What’s interesting to us about this app is that it reflects the growing tend in mobile to make the wall between the virtual and real world as transparent as possible. It’s a blurring of the boundaries which has been feted since the proliferation of personal computers in the 1980s, but now is actually starting to become a reality.

A mobile device is both super portable, and super personal – the perfect instrument with with to push the boundaries of the virtual world.

Today, that technology is being used to sell flat packed furniture, but tomorrow, who knows? An app that can diagnose your skin rash by hovering over it? And who knows, they might even build one that helps you find your way out of a store…


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