Now you can try before you buy. 

By Sarah Yang
September 07, 2017

We’ve all been there before: you order a piece of furniture online or buy it at the store, only to find that when it makes it to your house it looks all wrong—it’s too big or small, it doesn’t go with the rest of the decor... the list goes on and on. No matter how much you plan, measure, and make Pinterest inspiration boards, sometimes that couch you wanted just doesn’t work out. IKEA wants to change that for you with IKEA Place, an app that will launch with the debut of Apple’s newest operating system, iOS 11.

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iOS 11 makes augmented reality on your phones, well, a reality. The new system has ARKit, a platform for developers to create AR apps that you can use on your phone or tablet—no other special gadgets required. The ARKit uses a built-in camera, powerful processors, and motion sensors to show virtual content in real-world settings (like a virtual plant in the corner of a room, or a board game on your dining table).

With the IKEA Place app, you can place IKEA furniture and accessories in your home to see how it will fit in with the rest of the space. The home products are 3D and true-to-scale, so you can see if that sofa is too big for the living room or if that rug has the right dimensions for your dining table. You can save the items that you like, take a picture to send to your significant other or roommate, and even buy the piece.

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This Real Simple editor got a sneak peek of the app through Apple and I was amazed by the quality. The details are so intricate—you can see the textures on the fabrics or surfaces, and because of the ARKit technology, the app can even sense how the piece will cast shadows or adjust the room's brightness. It will help you test out different looks without spending money or even leaving your house, saving you some time at the store and from the hassle of returning an item.

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