IKEA + Apple redesigned their AR app, improving user experience and playing with your interior styling!

Two things were certain during the pandemic– we all redesigned our homes and shopped online…a lot. While some of us took this time to peruse IKEA and design the home that we’ve been planning for years, the rest of us took a riskier approach and just bought what caught our eyes. To help mitigate the embarrassing effects of buying furniture without seeing how it fits in our room, IKEA in continued partnership with Apple has given their AR app, now called IKEA Studio, a complete overhaul.

Previously called the IKEA Place App, the augmented reality app allowed users to position furniture even outside of the bedroom – landing sofas and armoires in distant factory lots and busy city streets. Nowadays, retail brands across the interweb are implementing AR apps into their online shopping experience– from sunglasses to makeup companies, consumers are more aware than ever of what’s headed for their doorstep. While IKEA largely started the AR app trend four years ago, since more brands are catching on, the retail tech company turned to SPACE10 to transform IKEA Place App into IKEA Studio, a reenergized and sensor-oriented AR experience.

Still operating in beta, IKEA Studio relies on LiDAR sensors in the iPhone to register and analyze rooms, allowing iPhone users to completely redesign their living spaces. Relying on iPhone’s LiDAR sensors to capture physical spaces, IKEA Studio captures complete 3D plans of the user’s living space including the measurements and placement of every piece of furniture from the window sill to the loveseat. Replacing their current furniture with white boxes, users can furnish their virtual room with new IKEA pieces, redesign previous color schemes, and then generate the final rendering in either 3D or 2D to export and share with others. Similar to IKEA Place, IKEA Studio still does not have a shopping feature so users have to exit the AR app to purchase furniture online or just fill up their shopping carts with prospective purchases.

Those interested in following IKEA Studio to its final stages can sign up for beta testing and start the design process as soon as they get approved. While the AR app is currently limited to a mobile application exclusively built for the iPhone, designers at SPACE10 are also envisioning a future AR experience that replaces the mobile application with glasses that users can wear to envision and redecorate their home spaces as they see fit, literally.

Designers: IKEA, Apple, SPACE10

With help from the iPhone’s LiDAR sensors, IKEA Studio captures and registers every piece of furniture’s exact measurement and placement within the room.

Additional functions within the app include features that allow users to redesign previous color schemes of living spaces.

IKEA Studio works by replacing old furniture with blank white spaces that generate virtual space for newly chosen pieces of furniture.

New Apple Pencil leaked, could launch next week

We are expecting to see some new iPads at Apple’s press event next week and now it would appear we will also see a new Apple pencil. A photos has been posted online of the new Apple Pencil, which can be seen above, it shares a similar design to the current device. It is not […]

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Parallels now supports Apple M1 systems

Anyone who relies on Parallels Desktop and has been waiting for it to be released supporting the latest Apple M1 chip systems, will be pleased to know that the virtualization tool for running Windows on macOS has this week been released. Parallels Desktop 16 is now available to purchase for a one-time price of $80 […]

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Here is another look at iOS 14.5 beta 8 (Video)

Apple recently released iOS 14.5 beta 8 to developers and public beta testers, we previously saw a video of the new beta and now we have another one. The new video of iOS 14.5 beta 8 is from Brandon Butch and it gives us another look at this new beta and its range of features. […]

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Spotify launches its first hardware device, a touchscreen player for your car called the “Car Thing”

While its name probably makes it sound like something an executive at Spotify thought of overnight, the Spotify ‘Car Thing’ has been in the works for years. It honestly makes sense, considering every one of Spotify’s competitors is in the hardware space too – Apple has the HomePod Mini and the AirPods complementing its Apple Music, and Amazon has the Echo series of smart speakers tying in with Prime Music. The Car Thing helps Spotify enter the hardware space too, and solidify its position in the one area where the market still remains untapped, and where honestly people require music/radio/podcasts the most… the car.

Picture this… you’ve got a long, 30-minute drive to work. A decade ago, you’d switch the radio on and listen to the news or some music. Now, you’re most likely to tune into your favorite podcast episode, or play music from a playlist on your streaming service. The software has evolved, although the hardware’s still playing catch-up. Not every car comes with a smart dashboard, and it can be a nuisance to constantly lift up your phone and unlock it to pick a song or a podcast episode… especially when you’re driving. That’s where the Car Thing comes in.

Issued as a limited release, Spotify’s Car Thing provides a bridge between your car’s speaker system and your favorite online streaming service. Available for free to a select group of applicants (you can sign up on Spotify’s Car Thing microsite), the Car Thing is a nifty little dashboard that brings Spotify to life in your automobile. It runs a version of the streaming company’s Car View, a simple interface that’s easy to use and navigate while driving, and while the device DOES have a touchscreen, it comes with physical dials and buttons that you can instinctively operate with your hand as you keep your eyes on the road.

The Spotify Car Thing is built to be compatible with vehicles regardless of make or model and displays a home screen with a touch-sensitive navigation dial slightly overlapping the screen to make the device look visually dramatic. The device comes with voice-controlled search too, and you can simply summon songs, artists, and playlists by using the command “Hey Spotify” before your query. Alternatively, you could rotate the dial to navigate the dashboard, increase or decrease volume, or press it to select songs or play/pause music. A button right below the dial lets you go back to the home screen, and 4 preset buttons on the top let you instantly play songs, stations, podcasts, or playlists of your choice.

Ultimately, the Car Thing works as a bridge between your phone and your car’s speaker system. It doesn’t sport a speaker of its own, instead, it connects to your car’s built-in speaker system either via Bluetooth or an aux cable. It still requires your smartphone too, given that it can’t connect to the internet independently. Sure, that sounds like a bit of a drag, but what Spotify is betting on is a much more intuitive and easy-to-use interface that lets you listen to your favorite talk shows and music without fiddling with your phone as you drive. The Car Thing ships with three mounting accessories for connecting it to a vent, the dashboard, or the CD player, and can be powered either by the USB port in your car, or a USB adapter that fits into the lighter socket. Sadly, the Car Thing isn’t quite available to the general public yet. You need to sign up on the Car Thing website and Spotify states that the device will only be available to “select” Spotify Premium members. To make up for that, the company is giving the Car Thing away at a 100% discount on its $79.99 price-tag. All you really need to pay is a nominal $6.99 shipping fee.

Designer: Spotify

The Car Thing sports a 4-inch touchscreen, with a durable construction and matte-textured rubber controls that are responsive and easy to use.

A rotating dial lets you quickly cycle through elements on your interface, and you can simply push the dial to select an item within your menu or press the home button below to go back to your home screen.

The upper edge of the Car Thing spots 5 buttons – 4 for dedicated presets, and a recessed button on the extreme right lets you either quick/mute a song, or access your settings. The device even comes with 4 microphones on the top, laid out in between each of the buttons, that run Spotify’s adaptive interference cancellation technology to help tune out the background noise and focus on your voice commands.

Each Spotify Car Thing ships in a kit that includes a USB cable to power the device, a 12V adapter for your car’s lighter socket, 3 different mounts to choose from, and a rubber cover for extending the primary dial’s lifespan.

Apple releases macOS Big Sur 11.3 beta 8

As well as releasing the new betas of iOS and iPadOS 14.5, Apple also released a new beta for the Mac, macOS Big Sur 11.3 beta 8. This should be the final beta of the software and we are expecting the next one to be the Release Candidate, which will basically be the final version […]

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iPhone 13 smaller notch design revealed

We have heard a number of rumors that the new iPhone 13 range of smartphones would have a smaller notch than the current iPhone 12 line up. We previously saw some leaked glass for the device which suggested it would come with a smaller notch than the iPhone 12 and iPhone 11. The photos were […]

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What’s new in iOS 14.5 beta 8 (Video)

Apple released iOS 14.5 beta 8 and iPadOS 14.5 beta 8 yesterday and now we get to find out what is new in the latest beta of Apple’s iOS. The video below from Zollotech gives us a look at the eight beta of iOS 14.5 and its range of new features, lets find out more. […]

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Apple releases iOS 14.5 beta 8 and iPadOS 14.5 beta 8

Apple has now released iOS 14.5 beta 8 for the iPhone and iPadOS 14.5 beta 8 for the iPad, the new beta has been released to developers and also members of Apple’s public beta testing program. This new beta comes with a range of bug fixes and we were not expecting to get another beta […]

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Apple announces ‘Spring Loaded’ for Tuesday 20th of April

Yesterday we heard a rumor that Apple’s next press event would take place next Tuesday the 20th of April, Apple has now sent out invites to the event. The event is called ‘Spring Loaded’ and it will take place next Tuesday at 10:00 a.m Pacific Time. Apple have not revealed what they will be unveiling […]

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