What do you do when you want to convince a hypothetical loving aunt with a healthy disregard for technology to try out virtual reality? You have her design her own kitchen of course. With the Ikea VR Experience, she can.
Said aunt is an absolute wiz in the kitchen; everyone loves her cooking. The Ikea VR experience, even with her distrust of high tech in general, can be an awarding experience for her. It can be a rewarding experience for anyone in fact, due to how smooth the experience is, and how it simulates, with a high level of accuracy and believability, an integral part of daily life.
Combined this with the ability to essentially redesign the surroundings to taste, which is after all what Ikea wants you to do, to promote their line of home improvement products and also serve as a preview of how good your kitchen can look with the use of their products, and you get what is essentially a shopping experience without the hassle of remembering measurements, color palettes, or leafing through a product brochure in real time (you can do so virtually in-game).
Made using the Unreal graphics engine and utilizing the HTC Vive’s excellent room-scales capability, the Ikea VR Experience is able to convincingly put the user into a virtual kitchen he or she can move around in, opening drawers and cabinets, taking out utensils, pouring in ingredients and cracking eggs. The user can also do quick redesigns through a simple virtual interface.
The experience is admittedly somewhat bare, as Ikea is only doing this as a test for the technology, but it’s been downloaded enough times to constitute a large block of potential profit for Ikea, if all of these people who tried the experience was as impressed as I was. And if some of them were beloved aunts with a knack for cooking and whose idea of fun is shopping and home deco, then you can bet that Ikea is doing some serious thinking on expanding this experience with more content and interactivity.
Access the free experience through this link.