Ikea app brings home catalogs into digital age
At the end of this month, 211 million Ikea catalogs will be sent off into the world. If one lands on your doorstep, you'll want to have your smartphone handy. As The Los Angeles Times reports, aside from the usual smattering of new sofas, fabrics and lighting fixtures, the company is also experimenting with a new way to view the catalog—through the lens of augmented reality. Flip through the catalog's carefully art-directed tableaus, and keep your eye out for a symbol that looks like a smartphone held on its side. That's your cue to fish your own smartphone out of your pocket, download the free Ikea catalog app, and then hold your phone over the picture of the product. You might be treated to photo galleries, a video story about the designer of the product, or even an X-ray feature that lets you look behind cabinet doors. The catalog ships at the end of the month, and the app, available for Android phones and the iPhone, will be ready for download on July 31. One of Ikea's goals for the project is to extend the life of the catalog in consumers' homes. Ikea estimates that the catalog usually has about a two-week shelf life before it gets tossed. With these interactive features, the company is hoping that the catalog will continue to float around coffee tables and bathrooms for at least a few months. See a video of the new app in action here.
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