Anyone who’s ever bought Ikea’s furniture understands the struggle with the assembly, Allen wrench, and the textless instruction manual. A new conceptual app called Assemble AR envisions how Ikea could use its technology to assist with furniture assembly.
Ikea already uses AR to show potential customers how pieces of furniture might look in their home (or anywhere, really), but this concept extends that technology. The proposed app, created by digital designer Adam Pickard could show you where different components belong — like which wooden plank goes with the other piece of wood and where all the different screws should go. You can hold up your phone and the instructions will be overlaid on the materials in front of you. The app would also show animations and life-size references to help make the process easier.
“Even though the IKEA assembly manual is well-designed, people often struggle with the self assembly, so much so that it’s a common cliche. It can even be so bad that there are even professionals that can be hired to do it for you,” Pickard wrote in a blog post. Pickard said he looked at how 3D elements should be positioned in the user’s environment and also included aspects of the instructions the user would need at the bottom of the screen. The instructions could also show which way the screws should be turned, and customers can hypothetically scan the product’s barcode to bring up the corresponding assembly manual for the product.
For now, the app is just a concept. But maybe someday someone at Ikea will build this app for those of us who are terrible at woodwork.