On April 2, Ingka Group, which owns a majority of Ikea stores, announced that it acquired Geomagical Labs, a Silicon Valley-based development company of 3D and visual AI technology for interactive home furnishings, for an undisclosed amount.
Geomagical Labs will continue to operate as an independent subsidiary, but Ingka Group will use its technology to help customers visualize Ikea products in their homes using 3D, photorealistic images of their furnishings, according to an Ingka Group statement.
Through the Ikea app and website, customers can use the Geomagical Lab platform and buy Ikea products, per the company statement. The platform allows users to take 3D photos of their space and determine which products are the best fit, the company noted.
Ingka Group's acquisition of Geomagical Labs is the latest effort that the company has made to boost Ikea's technological offerings. Last August, the company spun out Ikea Home smart into its own business entity.
In its announcement, Ingka Group noted that it wants to give consumers a better online shopping experience.
"Digital development is at the very core of our transformation to meet new and changing customer needs," Krister Mattsson, managing director of Ingka Investments at Ingka Group, said in a statement. "We are now taking a more dynamic approach to digital investments and acquisitions so we can strengthen our IKEA Retail business and target companies with new digital capabilities and services."
Companies have recently been developing augmented and virtual reality tech to help consumers test out products before committing to a purchase. Retailers, including Sally Beauty and Wayfair, have introduced visualization technologies. In February, Perfect Corp. partnered with on-demand beauty service provider PRIV to highlight PRIV's Runway Trends Collection in a digital Fashion Week show. Back in April 2019, companies like Target, Ikea, Lowe's and Williams-Sonoma came together to establish common standards for AR and VR technologies.