Ikea, the major furniture retailer, has been dabbling in augmented and virtual reality.
Recently the company launched a survey to gauge how their consumers really feel about artificial intelligence. This indicated that Ikea is looking to AI and virtual assistant capabilities, to improve customer experience. The survey, called “Do You Speak Human?,” was created by Ikea’s Space10 innovation and design lab. Questions included asking respondents whether consumers want AI to be human-like, male, female or gender-neutral, and even if it should be religious, among other questions.
An Ikea official stressed that the retailer remains at an information-gathering stage, New Atlas reports. The company recognizes that AI presents a “tremendous opportunity,” but for now it is simply curious how people feel about AI. Consumers, who took part in the survey, could see how their answers stack up to others immediately.
The results of the survey showed that 44% preferred a gender-neutral AI. 77% said they saw that AI could prevent them from making mistakes. 46% of respondents said they wanted an AI to be obedient and assisting.
Ikea has started edging its way into smart home products with the recent rollout of a smart lighting system, the Trådfri system, which leverages common ZigBee Light Link technology standards for connected light bulbs. As the smart home market matures, the ability of Ikea and other retailers to continue innovating on smart home concepts will be tested by competition. At some point, with everyone offering a gateway or hub and connected lighting systems, players will have to work harder to distinguish themselves.
Ikea is one of many retailers looking to experiment with technology to achieve digital transformation. From smart products to virtual reality, it is not a huge leap to see the retailer leverage artificial intelligence.