Ikea shoppers who use the home-goods retailer's 2014 mobile product cataloge can view potential purchases to scale in their spaces using a tablet or smart phone.

Ikea shoppers who use the home-goods retailer's 2014 mobile product cataloge can view potential purchases to scale in their spaces using a tablet or smart phone.

Credit: Ikea

Ikea, the Swedish supplier of streamlined home furnishings, is letting consumers try on its products for style and size before purchasing them—sort of. The mobile app that accompanies the global brand’s 2014 product catalog is fitted with augmented-reality technology, which adds a layer of digital information to a projection of a real space to create a realistic 3D display. Shoppers can use the app to scan pages of the print catalog and visually place selected furniture items into their rooms, to scale, using their phone’s or tablet’s camera. The goal is to help shoppers determine whether a certain dining set, wardrobe, or bed frame will fit the dimensions and aesthetics of a given space—factors that aren’t as readily apparent in an online catalog or one of the stores’ bustling displays. The app is free for iPhone and iPad as well as for Android devices.