The Swedish retail giant IKEA just joined the club of the unique and elite companies of the world who dove head first into and embraced virtual reality. Partnering with HTC, IKEA developed a pilot test mobile application IKEA VR Experience which is expected to completely transform how people shop for home furnishings.
The application was launched on game distributor Steam, and allows you to take a virtual tour in an IKEA kitchen. The idea is to allow people to “try it out” before they buy. Also, a user gets to change the color of kitchen furnishings in the map, as well as shrink in size and move around the kitchen at will. IKEA has been exploring various new digital tools for the last few years, and finally identified VR as the best way to progress in the modern world.
Range manager of IKEA in Australia, Tim Prevade, was quite excited about this new application. He said that Australians are known to embrace latest technology and newest innovations. He is quite excited about how this new application would help IKEA in broadening its horizons and moving forward.
It seems Prevade was quite right about the Australians as another VR feature was introduced to them this week. On Wednesday, the Australian Museum of Sydney, in collaboration with Samsung, launched two VR documentaries from the advanced technology of London-based Alchemy VR, featuring the voice of none other than David Attenborough. The documentaries use Samsung Gear VR and give the viewers a 360-degree tour of the first creatures on Earth, as well as a tour of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
Experts are calling these documentaries an “out of body experience” and a very unique opportunity to advance in the modern tech world. These documentaries show the viewers the natural wonders of this world and give them a higher appreciation for their environment. Moreover, VR has the capacity to expose viewers to a one-of-a-kind experience that they have never yet had before. Since there are no preset rules on how to tell a story in VR, this makes every VR project a special and unique one.
In March, Telsyte predicted the popularity of VR within the Australian market, and anticipated it to increase over the next decade. They expected a sale of 110,000 VR units in 2016 and an annual growth rate of 500,000 from now until 2020.