Claudia on 8/26/2019

Inside our IKEA Virtual Reality Showroom

After winning an FWA Of The Day for our IKEA Virtual Reality Showroom we shared some technical and other interesting insights with them. Check this out. 

What did you want to accomplish with the project?

The Virtual Home Experience is an in-store VR application at the center of IKEA's home furnishing hub – a playful interior lab where IKEA focuses on inspiring and co-creation with its customers. Therefore, the application was designed as an interactive showroom that invites users to visualize different combinations and to think beyond the given things. We aimed to create an innovative, emotional 3D product experience with joy of use for any IKEA customer.

What technical challenges did you encounter and how did you solve them?

As the first public VR installation of its kind, various aspects of the application and the hub had to be rethought to make the Oculus Rift ready for unattended use at a store that welcomes thousands of people a day. Special attention was given to anything, from easy on-boarding, health notifications to foolproof interactions and smooth cable management. Installed as a prototype in Germany's most vibrant city, Berlin, IKEA and Demodern source learnings for further development on a daily base – using application analytics as well as a broad scale of qualitative user feedback given directly at the point-of-sale.

What did winning the FWA award mean to you?

We are always super happy to win an FWA. It's a huge platform and it's the one site you keep coming back to for good projects and inspiration.

FWA has always been there and the peer review judging process makes it very valuable for us.

Tools used:

Starting with 3D Renderings in 3ds Max and Maya, we then developed the interactive experience and the realtime-3D elements in Unity.

For concept and visual designs, we used the Adobe Creative Suite with a focus on After Effects to create the animations and interaction flows.

To learn more about users we track their behavior with analytics data.

Three hot facts:
  • Users of all ages instantly understand the gaze interaction and the experience can be left unattended without any problems
  • Daytime transitions and 3D audio create a truly immersive environment
  • There is a cat-content easter egg