Apple dropped iOS 11 this week and, in addition to a load of new features, the update brings the first wave of augmented reality apps created using the company’s new ARKit tech.
But one of the best use cases of ARkit so far is not a game or an app to make your selfies more interesting: It’s from Ikea.
Called Ikea Place, the app uses Apple’s augmented reality technology to help make Ikea shopping a little less painful. It uses your phone’s camera to quickly scan a room — you’ll need iOS 11, but not an iPhone 8 or iPhone X to use it — so you can then “place” Ikea furniture around you.
Ikea Place lets you quickly browse the furniture giant’s offerings and then check out how the items would look in your actual space. You can reposition everything and move closer or further away from them to view the scene from different angles.
The representations of Ikea furniture are surprisingly good — you can even position your phone so that you can view underneath tables and behind cabinets to get a full 360-view of an item.
While not quite perfect yet — it doesn’t have Ikea’s entire catalog, and searching for specific items could be smoother — it eases the challenge of visualizing how a particular couch or table or dresser will look in your house well before you have to go to the store.
Now if only they could use the augmented reality tech to help you actually put the furniture together.