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Ikea's plans for ARKit revealed, virtual shopping tool will launch in fall with iOS 11

Briefly teased at the WWDC keynote, flat-pack furniture company Ikea has officially declared that it is working on a ARKit catalog for the iPhone that will launch at some point in late 2017.




Ikea's Leader of Digital Transformation Michael Valdsgaard revealed the fall timetable for the app to Di Digital, saying that it is the first AR app that assists users to buy material goods. However, the ability to buy the furniture in-app may not make the first version of the app, according to the executive.

Fairly obviously, the app will superimpose offerings from Ikea's catalog in a user's space in real-time, and apply ligthing effects, all seen through an iPad or iPhone's screen. Smaller items will be placed accurately on table's using the already-demonstrated capabilities of surface identification and measuring in ARKit.

Valdsgaard said that the app would launch with between 500 and 600 products. Newly launched home accessories and furniture would debut in the app in the future, perhaps even before they hit Ikea store floors.

Apple Vice President Craig Federighi announced at WWDC that ARKit is coming to iOS 11, expected to launch in the fall. Federighi noted that Apple's integration with the iOS and the iPhone hardware allowed for the technology, that was being previewed at the time to Lego, Ikea, and other companies.

ARKit will be limited to the iPhone 6s and newer, and the iPad Pro and more recent.

Also coming from Ikea is HomeKit compatibility for its Tradfri smart bulb line. The firmware update for Tradfri is expected in late summer or early fall.