Before what I heard Augmented Reality applied to mobile are almost about one-time marketing campaigns. The innovative and realistic playing experience attracts customer’s attention and brings the brand awareness. However, I wonder if there is more useful function can bring to customer’s real life. After searching, I found the IKEA catalog App. IKEA’s printed catalog with a great display of smart, innovative and stylish design furniture at affordable prices always brings me very enjoyable reading experience. Released on 2012, IKEA Interactive catalog App let you find some extra information moving your smartphone around the relevant page by scanning the catalog and experiencing more. I consider this app is a head-first dive into image recognition featuring augmented reality.
Here is the update introduction of IKEA catalog App function on Google play, “By scanning selected pages in the printed catalogue you will be able to access additional images, films, and 3D models. Just look for the pages in the printed IKEA Catalogue 2013 that have the smart phone icon on the top right corner. Note that you need to scan the whole page, the symbol itself is not enough to recognize a page and get the extra content.”
Every Augmented Reality varies by different effects. For example, the app shows a video displaying how soft the bed you selected is, or takes a look at closet or bookshelf from varied perspectives. Besides, users can even take a picture of their home and drag the IKEA furniture into the photo to see if it is a good fit and share the pictures to others. “A lot digital stuff becomes very interesting when you mash it up with the tangible items of the real world,” said Andreas Dahlqvist, Global Deputy Chief Creative Officer of McCann, the creative agency behind the IKEA catalog App.
My friend who used to scan the printed IKEA catalog in 5 to 10 minutes now play around the functions in an hour and strengthens the desire to buy the products.
Overall, the App is a breath of fresh air for me though it could be better for some improvements. First, it ran out of my storage space easily. The app itself is 14MB. Browsing the catalog takes another 53 MB of data. Not mentioned there is another kitchen catalog also takes space. Second, this app is slow-loading. My phone is crashed and being forced to close almost every time. If the developers can fix those problems, I am sure it will get more popular. This app is definitely a nice move for the possibility of catalog. I consider right now lots of printed magazines and catalogs have electronic version but it still stays the one-way communication step lacking of interaction.