You can test drive a new car. You can try on a new pair of pants. Now you can put that new kitchen you’ve always dreamed of to the ultimate test — pancakes, at dawn — before plopping down your money with the help of virtual reality. As part of a global test pilot, IKEA customers in select locations can put on a head-mounted display to step inside their future kitchen, walk around and see where they’d be cooking up a batch of pancakes to gain a deeper understanding of the intended look, feel and configuration. The goal: ease the guesswork that makes redesigns so challenging.
VR can be a valuable tool in the design and purchasing process. To do that, it needs to be fun. But it also needs to effectively transfer knowledge to the customer about what to consider when planning and designing a kitchen. The more real and accurate the experience, the better. Paris-based VR design firm Emissive was chosen to develop a platform for the creation of high-end VR content. After selecting products from the IKEA catalogue, it created 3D models of the products using NVIDIA Quadro P6000 GPUs on HP Z840 workstations, then brought to life in Unreal Engine 4.