In the beginning, Ikea created a VR kitchen for would-be buyers on the HTC Vive. It followed a long and proud tradition of virtual reality test kitchens. The people were unimpressed.
But why? Ikea asked. We let you pick from three different cabinet colors! You can see the furniture from varying heights!
I'm just not feeling it, the people complained. It doesn't feel really immersive, you know?
What shall we add? Ikea wondered. More customizability options? The ability to scan your kitchen's real dimensions? Artificial scents?
No, the people answered. We want meatballs. Like the ones in the store.
Meatballs? Ikea paused, scratching its metaphorical chin. So... you want us to make a virtual cafeteria and attach it to the kitchen? And sell meatballs in it?
Honestly, we don't really care, the people said. As long as you've got meatballs somewhere. Maybe some veggie stuff, too.
Ikea breathed a metaphorical sigh of relief. Really? That's it?
And so Ikea added a bowl of meatballs and vegetable balls, with realistic physics and a frying pan. And the people were happy. Until one of them asked:
Wait a second, where's the lingonberry?
Two years later, Ikea had created the most detailed virtual reality cooking and home renovation simulator of all time.