IKEA launches new AI-powered design experience; expands in south India

Ingka Group, the largest IKEA retailer, has announced the launch of its new AI-driven digital design experience, IKEA Kreativ.

The intuitive new experience offers customers the first lifelike, fully integrated way to design and visualize their own living spaces, from computers and smartphones.

IKEA Kreativ combines decades of IKEA life at home expertise with the latest developments in spatial computing, machine learning and 3D mixed reality technologies. IKEA Kreativ’s core technology was developed by Silicon Valley AI specialists, Geomagical Labs, which Ingka Group acquired in April 2020.

The easy-to-use experience aims to inspire customers, unlock their creativity, and help them visualize how furnishings will look, fit, and function in their in their homes, through lifelike interactive design. 

IKEA Kreativ uses state-of-the-art AI and computer vision technologies, similar to those used by self-driving cars, to make sense of customers’ home spaces.

These include AI neural networks which have been specially trained to recognize the objects and geometry of indoor spaces, stereo vision algorithms to see in 3D, computational photography algorithms to provide expansive photography, and mixed reality 3D graphics for realism. AI algorithms also allow IKEA Kreativ to erase some or all existing furniture from the scene, to let customers reimagine their spaces.

Parag Parekh, co acting Chief Digital Officer at Ingka Group, said: “Ingka Group is passionate about helping people create a better life at home, and we continuously look to add value to our customers’ experience, both on and offline. Through the innovative, intuitive technology of Geomagical Labs and simple digital experience, we believe IKEA Kreativ will break down barriers to shopping for home furnishing, empowering people to go from inspiration to reality and design their perfect home.”

Brian Totty, CEO and Founder of Geomagical Labs, said: “We’re working hard to help people imagine a better life at home, by fusing real technology advancements with fun and magical user experiences. We are super excited to share our first products and look forward to making these capabilities even more helpful and awesome in the years to come.”

First rolling out in the United States for iOS and laptop users, IKEA Kreativ will be available for Android users later this summer, and for additional countries in FY23.

Ingka Group has also opened its first IKEA store in the southern state of Karnataka, following its earlier online launch last year.

The new IKEA store in Bengaluru is part of Ingka Group’s recently announced EUR 3 billion investment to accelerate its expansion worldwide before the end of next year.

The newest IKEA store is located in Nagasandra in Bengaluru – the state capital of Karnataka and home to around 10 million people. Covering around 42,000 square metres and employing more than 1,000 co-workers, it will offer around 7,000 products that reflect local home furnishing needs.

“India is a long-term commitment for us and today’s opening is an important step in getting closer to our customers in this part of the country. As online sales are growing fast, our stores remain one of our biggest strengths. Bringing the best of both physical and online retailing here in India and around the world is our way forward,” says Tolga Öncü, Retail Operations Manager, Ingka Group.

In India, the retailer plans to also open an IKEA city store in Bengaluru later this year, after opening its first city store in Mumbai in December last year.

Ingka Group continues to accelerate its expansion globally, both with new stores and by investing in transforming existing stores to fulfil customer orders. On 30 June Ingka Group will open its first city store in Sweden, in the heart of Stockholm.

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