Sometimes, a trip to Ikea can feel like an early glimpse at the apocalypse. The crowds, the screaming kids, it's all a bit much. But oftentimes a visit is inevitable in order to see what a particular sofa, bed or coffee table looks like in real life. Wouldn't it be great if you could get the same experience at home? Ikea has tried this before with augmented reality, and now it's going a step further with virtual reality. Through Steam, the company has made an app for the HTC Vive which puts you in a make-believe kitchen.
There are three different room styles to choose from, and you can change the color of the cabinets and drawers using the Vive's wand controllers. Of course, it's unlikely that these limited options will match up with the exact kitchen you're looking to buy. Ikea has stressed, however, that the app is merely an experiment as it explores "the possible implications of (virtual reality) for the home." The company will, however, be making improvements to the app based on player feedback up until August, when the "pilot test" ends and the experience is presumably pulled from Steam.
Thanks to the Vive's room-scale motion tracking, you can walk around and perform some basic tasks, such as opening drawers, recycling vegetables and placing a frying pan on the stove. These interactions pale in comparison to Job Simulator, but they should, at least a little, help you imagine what it would be like to have the kitchen in your home. Handily, you can also change the in-game perspective to imitate a small child or a 6.4 foot-tall adult. That way, you can check whether any of the door frames or counter tops would pose a danger to your friends and family.
Oh, and there's also a teleport function. Just in case you were wondering what it would be like to make bacon and eggs as Nightcrawler.