The idea of IKEA meddling about with virtual reality isn’t really a shock. If you think about it, the technology works perfectly for architecture and interior decorating.
I guess I’m surprised because I didn’t expect to see IKEA listed on Steam any time soon. But late this afternoon, that’s precisely what happened.
It’s a free-to-play experience for the HTC Vive, with full support for the motion controllers and room-scale features. It’s supposedly similar to a kitchen in the company’s 2016 catalogue, although given that I threw my copy out weeks ago I’ve got bugger all idea which one it might be.
According to the Steam description, it’s a five minute long experience. IKEA is betting that virtual reality will “play a major role in the future of our customers”, which kind of makes sense. Think about the layout of an IKEA store. It gives you an idea of how things will look like in your own space, or how multiple items will fit together.
VR is a natural extension of that, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we started seeing trial headsets or VR terminals in IKEA branches in the next few years.
There’s even an email if you have any ideas you’d like IKEA to add to their next VR experience. Zero points if you start suggesting they build their own version of Capcom’s kitchen nightmare, though.