It’s when you’ve put the headset on that it happens: Your eyes open up to a totally different room from where you know your feet are standing.
Imagine experiencing every moment the way an excited 5-year old experiences the winter holidays. It’s like stepping into a fairytale - but better! The game is on. Now you’ll be able to walk around a real size, make-believe 3D kitchen and interact with objects.
Once inside, you’ll be equipped with two wands, which let you navigate freely and try out all the cool stuff. For instance, with a simple click you can change the colour of cabinets and drawers. So let’s fantasize - if there were NO limits to your desires, what would your kitchen look like? What would it feel like?
”Virtual reality is developing fast and in five to ten years it will be an integrated part of people’s lives. We see that it will play a major role in the future, for instance it could be used to enable people to try out a variety of home furnishing solutions before buying them,” says Jesper Brodin, IKEA Range & Supply Manager.
It’s edgy. Thanks to the room-scale motion tracking, you can easily walk around and do some of those basic kitchen tasks. Open drawers and oven doors. Recycle the vegetable skins in the waste sorting station. Browse the new IKEA Catalogue, discover the pencils, pick up a frying pan and place it on the stove… And when weird stuff happens, like when you’re frying and tossing around veggie balls for the 18th time cause it’s so much fun that you just can’t stop, you suddenly come to understand the beauty of it all: It helps you imagine what it would be like to have this kitchen in your real home.
“The release was made in the name of co-creation. We hoped to receive feedback from people on what they wanted to do more of and if the virtual reality experience was of interest. Surprisingly, the most wanted feature was - meatballs!”, says Martin Enthed, IT Manager for IKEA Communications.
About IKEA Virtual Reality Kitchen Experience
IKEA is one of less than a handful of companies leading the virtual reality revolution by producing original content. So far, its test app has generated 1200 articles around the world. The IKEA virtual reality experience was released on Valve’s game platform Steam in April 2016 and was made in collaboration with the French company Allegorithmic, using Unreal Engine 4 from Epic Games. The app is developed for HTC Vive, and will coninuously be updated until December 2016.
"We hoped to receive feedback from people on what they wanted to do more of and if the virtual reality experience was of interest. Surprisingly, the most wanted feature was – meatballs."
Oh, and if you’ve always dreamed of being a kid again, here’s your chance. Handily, the test app also features the ability to shrink yourself and move around the kitchen in the size of a 3.3 ft (100 cm) tall child. Walking around in someone else’s shoes (besides having a laugh) allow you to check whether any of the door frames or counter tops would pose a danger to your friends and family. You can also enlarge yourself and experience it as 6.4 ft (195 cm) tall adult. Yet, you don’t want to stop there. There’s a teleport function as well (just in case you want to know what it feels like to zap yourself between the oven and the table in the blink of an eye).
After 5-10 minutes of playing around you take your virtual reality headset off, feeling fascinated. If you want to get lost inside the kitchen, try it at steampowered.com