Apple gave a glimpse of its augmented reality technology during the WWDC event in June this year. The company's senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, also revealed during the show that the company would partner with popular furniture brand Ikea to bring the AR technology, dubbed ARKit, to the masses. Company CEO Tim Cook also mentioned a partnership with IKEA for Apple’s AR tech in an interview recently.

IKEA partnering with Apple on its ARKit

The news has now been confirmed by IKEA executive Michael Valdsgaard during an interview with Digital.di.

Valdsgaard said that IKEA was indeed teaming up with the iPhone maker and its ARKit to revolutionize furniture shopping. He also revealed that with the augmented reality support, people would be able to select furniture from IKEA’s website and then determine whether it would look good in their house before making the purchase.

Similar functions have been supported by IKEA for a while now. Previously, users could scan a catalogue and then check to see what the furniture would look like in their home. However, with the ARKit, this will become much simpler.

Valdsgaard revealed that at launch IKEA would support around 500 to 600 products, while more would be added in the near future. The AR technology could even play a big part in the development and launch of new pieces of furniture as well.

For instance, Valdsgaard stated that IKEA may decide to offer a preview of upcoming products through the AR app first prior to official launch in stores.

Will IKEA sell furniture directly through the ARKit app?

The furniture company may decide to sell its product directly from the app itself. However, Valdsgaard said that nothing of this sort has been finalized yet.

The primary focus for the company right now is to integrate with Apple’s AR program to offer customers a better way to make their choices. The IKEA executive also said that selling directly from the app would come later, as the company is operating under a strict deadline.

Several teams from IKEA are already working on the project with a special “innovation team” consisting of 150 people from Älmhult, Sweden.

This is the location where the first IKEA store opened. A 20-member team is also working on the AR technology and is responsible for creating the 3D models of the furniture. The ARKit is expected to release sometime this fall after the launch of Apple’s highly anticipated iOS 11 operating system.