IKEA is Gifting 14,000 VR Headsets to Its Employees This Holiday Season
By Scott Hayden
The Swedish flat-pack furniture giant has made some impressive strides into virtual and augmented reality in the past few years, and to celebrate its success, the company is gifting VR headsets to its employees this year for the holidays.
According to a Fast Company report, IKEA will be giving 14,000 of its US-based employees VR headsets.
Although the report doesn’t specify which headset the company is handing out, an image featured in the report reveals what is commonly referred to as a ‘Plastic Cardboard’, or a mobile headset shell that makes use of the owner’s smartphone to drive VR interactions. Hooking into Google’s Cardboard app ecosystem, a ‘Plastic Cardboard’ is a neat entry-level gift that, although not delivering the highest quality experience, is certainly a good starting point for anyone who’s never had the chance to use a VR headset before.
“Ikea understands the world around us is changing, and we are changing too,” said Mona Liss, Ikea’s U.S. corporate director of PR, “so selecting a gift that represents new ways of viewing the world seemed like a good fit.”
Ikea previously gifted its employee’s things such as tablets, Roku streaming players, and Jawbone UP fitness trackers. Not only material goods but the company also contributed $113 million to 123,000 Ikea workers’ retirement funds.
Ikea released a VR experience last year for HTC Vive that lets you explore and interact with an Ikea kitchen. More recently, the company released Ikea Places, an AR app for iOS 11 that lets you virtually place Ikea furniture in your own home. Hopefully, the company will also bring out a mobile VR experience in the future so its 14,000 VR headset-owning employees can get in on the fun too.