TAKELEAP, a Dubai-based technology agency specialising in artificial intelligence, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), has partnered with IKEA to develop a VR shopping POPUP concept throughout the Middle East.
The VR shopping pop-ups have taken place in malls within five cities across three countries, including Jordan, Kuwait and Morocco.
Visitors to the pop-ups can create their own virtual living room by placing IKEA products in the scene using VR technologies to facilitate the home furnishing experience.
Users can choose from pre-set room layouts to match the dimension of their living space, then purchase the products on site if they wish, removing the need to visit a traditional IKEA store to visualise and purchase products.
“We are very thankful to have TAKELEAP’s support in helping us push the way we design things and give our customers a completely different kind of experience,” said Diana Sabouni, IKEA’s regional interior design specialist. “This is something that none of our competitors have done before and a monumental step for the future of IKEA shopping.”
“The growth of virtual reality, artificial intelligence and augmented reality technologies are reshaping many markets across the Middle East, and e-commerce is no different.” Said Salman Yusuf, managing director at TAKELEAP. “Technology is advancing at increasing speeds and will quickly redefine the future of the business. We are thrilled that IKEA has become a first-mover in developing this technology and look forward to our partnership for years to come.”
The global virtual reality market is expected to reach $48.5 billion by 2025. Across the Middle East, national-driven initiatives are driving the technologies’ adoption. Just last month, the UAE appointed Omar Bin Sultan Al Olama as the country’s first minister of state for artificial intelligence while Saudi Arabia bestowed citizenship on a robot named Sophia – the very first robot to be granted citizenship in the world.
Customers can now choose their favourite items in as little as “20 minutes” while having a “realistic” view of what the furniture is like.
With a 1:1 scale, users can understand the real size of their products while recognising the colour and texture of fabrics. In Kuwait, TAKELEAP will also introduce another VR activation to give users a full 360 virtual tour of IKEA Kuwait store, aiding in the process of finding items around the outlet.
IKEA has previously released its line of wireless charging furniture, which has built-in Qi-enabled wireless chargers for compatible mobile phones.