IKEA blends the physical and digital worlds

I bet you have an IKEA catalog in your house. Given they print 211 million copies per year, it’s a decent bet and now IKEA is seeking to enliven that physical object with some digital goodness.

WIRED took a look at this blending of the physical and digital worlds where users will be able to wave their smartphone over printed symbols in the catalog to get additional content such as videos, 3D models and more. It’s something we think is going to be a major trend over the coming years and AR is really just the tip of the iceberg. Using Kinect, I can already create a real time 3D model of my house so I’m hopeful that a digital catalog of the future will include my house and I can insert digital objects from companies such as IKEA into that model and see how things looks.

Equally, I’ve seen some projects that could do the reverse – taking Kinect to scan a room and pairing that with a 3D projector so I could see digital objects in my physical world.

This whole area is ripe for massive innovation as we explore the blending of the physical and digital. Who knows, we may even save some trees along the way!