Image: IKEA

The news

IKEA has opened beta access for IKEA Studio, its next-generation room AR app for iOS devices. IKEA’s previous AR app, Place, enabled users to place a single piece of virtual furniture in a real-world space. Studio takes this functionality up several notches by enabling users to design an entire room.

Better AR with lidar

IKEA’s Place app was released alongside Apple’s ARKit in 2017. Though at-home shopping is one of the most common examples for real-world applications of AR, IKEA had let the app get a little long in the tooth. Studio brings IKEA’s room AR up to speed by exploiting the 3D capture technology in Apple iOS devices like the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max.

What it can do

As Wired reports, the app generates a 3D mesh of your room, which it uses to identify physical features and objects for realistic occlusion. The app automatically identifies existing furniture, walls, windows, and doorways so you can test out new wall colors, place virtual IKEA furniture, “hang” virtual light fixtures from the ceiling. You can even stack virtual furniture—for instance to see how an IKEA speaker might look on top of a shelving unit in the corner.

The tool isn’t just for visualization, either. Studio appears to include measurement tools as well. As a showcase page for the app explains:

“Measure, style and share your space in augmented reality. […] The app contains a set of easy to use tools that let you measure individual features like windows or doors, create detailed floor plans of entire rooms and visualise 3D volumes inside your spaces.”

Remember that the app is still in Beta testing, so it isn’t yet connected to IKEA’s catalogue for a one-click shopping experience. For now, the company is looking for feedback on the app, with more features to come in the future. Sign up for beta testing here.