Ikea Place and its design challenges


In the 74 years since, IKEA has managed to become a global brand, practically ubiquitous with everyday life. And as the world is changing faster than ever before, Ikea focus is not to be only aware of changes but to stay ahead of them and making sure they are always prepared for new opportunities.

In the summer of 2017, augmented reality became one of those opportunities when Apple announced ARKit for iOS11. By enabling millions of existing iPhones with AR capabilities, it would suddenly reach the masses and thus be relevant for IKEA. We (Space10, studio Norgram and TWNKLS) were invited to take part in shaping this new adventure for IKEA.

The use case

Placing furniture in augmented reality has always been an obvious use case, so much so that it’s easily taken for granted. Yet the potential importance for IKEA cannot be overstated. Today, not everyone is on the doorstep of an IKEA store, and nearly 40 percent of people deal with an “imagination gap”: a lack of confidence in taking risks regarding changes in their homes.

Assembling Ikea Place, without a manual

With the iPhone being 10 years old, everyone has spent the best part of a decade getting used to communicating with, working on, and designing for small screens. Most of the time when designing an app, you’re designing for one screen, maybe in a few different sizes, but generally everyone experiences it in the same way. With AR, people are no longer just looking at their screens, they’re looking through them. Meaning that every guideline from the past decade has to be reconsidered.

Read here the rest of the SPACE10 blog on how we have overcome these design challenges.


A Manager’s guide to Augmented Reality. TWNKLS is mentioned twice!


Michael Porter, one of the world most outstanding business professors, published in the December edition of the Harvard Business Review, A manager’s guide to Augmented Reality. In the article Porter mentioned two of TWNKLS projects; Ikea Place and Wemo Operator 4.0.

The full read can be found at the bottom of this page. But we summarized for you the 4 key take-aways:

1. AR enables a new information-delivery paradigm

AR combined with smart glasses allow workers to receive the right information, at the right time, in the corner of their eye. Thereby taking fully advantage of the information and insights produced by connected products and smart data analysis and moreover prevent an information overload. Next to that, by superimposing digital information directly on real objects or environments improves our ability to rapidly and accurately absorb information, make decisions, and execute required tasks quickly and efficiently. AR allows to visually guide operators through repairs in real time, and connecting them with remote experts, who can help in that way multiple (junior) co-workers. See our Remote collaboration case for the Dutch healthcare.


2. AR helps to visualize.

AR-enhanced visualization to demonstrate the design and capabilities of objects at hand. AR application allow customers to see 3-D representations of multiple configurations and how subsystems fit together. When customers can see virtually how products will look or function in a real setting before buying them, they have more-accurate expectations, more confidence about their purchase decisions, and greater product satisfaction. See for example the cases we have made for Ottolift staircases and Rexel Solar panels.


3. Instruct and guide

AR is redefining instruction, training, and coaching. Written instructions for assembly tasks, for instance, are frequently hard and time-consuming to follow. Standard instructional videos aren’t interactive and can’t adapt to individual learning needs. In-person training is expensive and requires students and teachers to meet at a common site, sometimes repeatedly. And if the equipment about which students are being taught isn’t available, they may need extra training to transfer what they’ve learned to a real-world context.

AR addresses those issues by providing real-time, on-site, step-by-step visual guidance on tasks such as product assembly, machine operation, and warehouse picking. Complicated 2-D schematic representations of a procedure in a manual, for example, become interactive 3-D holograms that walk the user through the necessary processes. Little is left to the imagination or interpretation. See our Wemo Operator 4.0 product.


4. AR and strategy

As the AR technology matures and the ROI realized by early adopters is noticed it’s important to ask yourself the following questions:

- What is the range of AR opportunities in your company, and in what sequence should they be pursued?

- How will AR reinforce your product differentiation?

- Where will AR have the greatest impact on cost reduction?

 After the roadmap is clear the following questions should be adressed:

- Should your company make AR design and deployment a core strength, or will outsourcing or partnering be sufficient?

- How should your organizations create digital content?

- How will your AR applications recognize the physical environment?

- What AR hardware is required?

- Should you use a software-development or a content-publishing model?


Want to know more about how AR can make your fellow workers more efficient? Schedule a free consult!

The full article of micheal Porter can be found here.

TWNKLS is innovation lane partner at Oracle Cloud Day


Twnkls is innovation lane partner at Oracle Cloud Day

This year’s focus of the event, was on how business and IT managers can stand out from the competition by transforming traditional customer experiences and business operations. On this event we showed together with Oracle our Operator 4.0 product.

The Operator 4.0 is an application which lets an operator monitor and operate a production line. We used to unique capabilities of Hololens to also offer remote assistance/collaboration. Just push a button and you can stream what you are looking at to a remote expert to save time and decrease errors.

Of course, all integrated with the Oracle software.

How AR is transforming Supply Chain Management

Categories:Conferences, Technology

On October 4, a special SCM program took place: connect to innovate. Where multiple experts share their vision for the future of supply chain management. My own session was part of the afternoon program, which gave me the opportunity to listen in the morning to the story of Patrick Crampton-Thomas, VP SAP Supply Chain Management. He began his session by outlining the five largest market drivers within SCM:


1. Connectivity: we order products anytime and anywhere from our smartphone.

2. Personalization: personalized products are the new standard.

3. Speed: we expect orders to be delivered very quickly.

4. Collaboration: with suppliers, departments and partners are all part of the supply chain.

5. Responsive manufacturing: you must have the flexibility to be able to deviate from the planning, should the circumstances require it.

This got me thinking about augmented reality, which has been my area of expertise since early 2011.

>> Can this AR technology help supply chain professionals to stimulate growth within their organization?

As far as I’m concerned, the answer is simple: yes, for all the five drivers. Below four cases coming from my very own ‘kitchen’ twnkls, to explain why this is the case.


1. IKEA Place

On September 13, 2017, IKEA launched a brand-new app co-developed by twnkls: IKEA Place (see press release). The app makes it possible to position IKEA virtual products in your own living room, where they are shown in 3D. They are life-size, with textures you can almost feel and with accurate light conditions. With the app, IKEA enables their customers to become more involved. With the IKEA Place app, customers are now able to interact with the products in their homes, rather than browsing mindlessly and hurriedly through the paper catalog.

Furthermore, IKEA Place is helping IKEA to make the transition from large shop locations and even larger warehouses to smaller shops and less inventory. The consumer’s own home becomes the showroom and their tablet becomes a smart catalog. Thanks to augmented reality, IKEA can even open up shop on the Rembrandtplein in Amsterdam or at the Coolsingel in Rotterdam, allowing for the centralization of warehouse management. This, in turn, makes it easier to respond quickly to changes in the market.

SCM market drivers: IKEA Place enables consumers to use their smartphone (connectivity) to configure and order products very quickly (speed), which means that IKEA can say goodbye to the large inventory and respond more quickly to changes in the market (responsive manufacturing).


WEMO develops, builds and installs production lines and tools for punching, bending, joining and working sheet metal. WEMO products are highly specialized and relatively complex to use in practice, which can make it quite challenging for operators to man and maintain the machines.

By implementing augmented reality, we have now tackled that problem. Operators man the machine with a special pair of glasses. The operation panel is projected virtually into the room and the operator sees directly the current and upcoming orders. He starts and stops the machine with simple hand gestures. On the right-hand side, he can read all of the sensors from the production line – information is fed directly from the underlying manufacturing execution system. The screen on the left-hand side is the remote expert. If something goes wrong, the operator can send an alert directly to the technical specialist. That person can literally look over the operator’s shoulder and give instructions on what to do.

SCM market drivers: with the augmented reality application, WEMO ensures that its customers can now perfectly operate and maintain their machines. Where before a specialist would need to be flown in to resolve downtime, now the operator can address the problem himself. Therefore, the machine can operate for more hours, which accelerates the production process (speed).

Want to know more? Don’t hesitate to contact me, or subscribe to my monthly AR update with all the latest news on how you can benefit from using AR.

3. Otolift

Otolift is a wonderful, family-owned, Dutch company that produces stairlifts for both Dutch and the international markets. A stairlift is a highly personal product that almost always has to be custom-made. After all, every staircase is different, and factors such as the location of power outlets, railings and doors must be taken into account. The process from the first contact with the customer up to the placement of the stairlift traditionally takes one to two months. That was before we introduced augmented reality.

For Otolift, we introduced a tool that makes it possible to illustrate a stairlift in the actual staircase setting in the home, taking into account any objects that potentially stand in the way. Useful not only for consumers but also for the sales team. The sales representative can record the measurements for the stairlift themselves using their tablet, completely free of errors and accurate to the millimeter. After leaving the customer, the sales representative can immediately send the measurements to the factory. As a result, lead time is shortened to about one to three weeks. And that, for a custom-made product!


SCM market drivers: Otolift has drastically shortened the sales and production processes (speed). The company makes use of augmented reality applications to support sales, whereby customers get to see the product in their own home, and for taking measurements (connectivity), whereby a custom stairlift can be delivered within just a few weeks (personalization).


4. Quinso and Twnkls: your factory in a suitcase

In the current network economy, it’s important to forge smart coalitions. To find partners that complement your organization, so that you can provide customers with newer and more complete products. Twnkls has found an ideal partner in Quinso, SAP Gold Partner and expert in software for logistics, wholesalers and manufacturing industries. We make a perfect match, and combine the knowledge of augmented reality with the knowledge of supply chain processes and the related underlying systems. In doing so, we are creating a whole new field.

Together, we help organizations to connect their ERP system and their SAP MII system with augmented reality. The result is something quite unique: a factory in a suitcase. Armed with HoloLens, operators can manage and maintain their conveyor belt. What’s more, since the operator no longer needs to be present at the conveyor belt, they can manage two or even three belts at a time. They know exactly where they need to be at every moment. Just one look at the dashboard of their glasses and they are up to speed on the actual situation and any issues that require their attention. They are not overloaded with information but are shown segments of exactly the information that is relevant at that moment. During connect to innovate, Quinso gave a fantastic demonstration of this. Using a HoloLens, of course.

SCM market drivers: we connect the production floor and the ERP system with augmented reality (connectivity). This means that we make it easier for operators to do their work and to respond quickly when necessary (speed and responsive manufacturing). And, yes, with the fruitful coalition between Quinso and Twnkls, we even satisfy the last driver on Patrick’s list: collaboration.

Augmented reality: adding value in all aspects of the value chain

At Twnkls, we don’t like to talk about what we might someday be able to do. We much rather talk about the concrete applications that can already add value to supply chains today. The cases described above are the ‘living’ proof that augmented reality can make an invaluable contribution to companies in the areas of speeding up production time, minimizing downtime of machines and achieving shorter sales cycles. One condition is that augmented reality is integrated properly into the operational process, by connecting it to the underlying systems. Want to know more? Don’t hesitate to contact me!


Bio Gerben Harmsen

On April 1, 2011, Gerben Harmsen and Lex van der Sluijs founded Twnkls, a full-service agency that focuses on the creation, development, and implementation of augmented reality applications. Since Twnkls ‘dove’ into this market already six years ago, it is one of the few companies worldwide that develop applications at this high level with so much impact.


Augmented Reality for the blind: TWNKLS at The Hague Accessibility Challenge


Visually impaired people too can benefit from augmented reality. This surprising fact was the key take-away of the The Hague Accessibility Challenge.

In this two-day ‘hackathon’ we teamed up with experts from Bartiméus to make the city more accessible to people with a visual handicap.

We combined computer vision, 3D sound, machine learning, and a Hololens to provide a stand-alone solution which lets a user safely cross the street. In a very short time we worked intensively with both users and experts to come up with a one-of-a-kind solution with enormous potential. We want to thank the organisers of the event, the participants, and of course our visually impaired users for inspiring us. We’re currently looking into taking this augmented reality prototype to the next step, so watch this space for further developments!

TWNKLS sponsor of ISMAR, the leading academic conference on AR in Nantes

Categories:News, Uncategorized

The IEEE ISMAR is the leading international academic conference in the fields of Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality. The symposium is organized and supported by the IEEE Computer Society and IEEE VGTC.

The congress jointly organized by Centrale Nantes and Inria will be held at La Cité, Nantes Events Center in Nantes (France), on October 9–13, 2017.



Meet TWNKLS at Augmented World Expo Europe 2017

Categories:News, Uncategorized

AWE is back for its second year in Europe. AWE Europe 2017 takes place at the MOC in Munich, Germany on 19-20 October 2017 and will bring together 1500 attendees including developers, creators, C-level executives, entrepreneurs, press, & investors. TWNKLS | augmented reality is sponsor at this event, visit our booth 212 for the best enterprise AR solutions for Security, Health, Industry, Commerce and Retail.

Last year we looked at how AR and VR are bringing superpowers to the people. For this year’s AWE Europe 2017 we are on a mission to highlight how to use these Superpowers to Change the World. This year’s conference and expo will showcase speakers, startups and organizations who are using AR & VR to drive economic growth, encourage empathy and collaboration, democratize healthcare and education, and promote sustainability in the world.


Our AWEsome Program

AWE Europe 2017 features two full days of on-stage content and five speaking tracks including our main keynote stage, developer workshops, creators track, enterprise track and startup pitches.


Inspirational Keynotes: our main stage keynote talks explore how AR and VR superpowers are changing the world with thought leaders from Bosch, Audi, RE’FLEKT, DAQRI, ODG, Avegant, THX, Nvidia and more

  • Opening Keynote from Ori Inbar on the State of AR
  • Smartglasses Panel with leading manufacturers discussing the successes and challenges on the path to adoption
  • Investors Panel analyzing the market and identifying the opportunities in this space to invest
  • Talks on AR & the enterprise, technical breakthroughs, AR’s impact on art & film and AI’s role in this next wave of computing


Augmented reality is the most natural way to give you the information you need, when you need it. We bring technology, people, and knowledge together so people can work, play, learn and experience through our applications and platforms. 


twnkls | augmented reality is a powerhouse in the area of computer vision and augmented reality technology. As a recognized pioneer, we push the technological envelope with attractive applications and we can help you to dazzle your end users or to optimize your industry’s value chain. 


We are dedicated specialists, passionate about developing and implementing new algorithms and cutting-edge technology, creative concepts and disruptive business ideas. Enthusiastic, daring, creative, with a “can-do!” mentality. But above all, we know AR inside and out… it’s in our DNA. For over 7 years now, TWNKLS is a leading AR specialist with a proven track record in the fields of security, health, industry and commerce.


IKEA PLACE allows people to virtually place furniture in their home

Categories:General, News

*** TWNKLS and SPACE10 developed and launched the IKEA PLACE app. Here is the press release. ***

Ikea partnered with Space10, TWNKLS.com and MDC Partners, agencies 72andSunny Amsterdam,​ ​Assembly​ ​and​ ​Allison+Partners​ ​to​ ​develop​ ​and​ ​bring​ ​Ikea​ ​Place​ ​to​ ​market.


Ikea Place marks a significant milestone in the Ikea digital transformation journey and kickstarts a shift in the way retail furniture will be purchased. The AR app helps consumers focus on the fun part of experimenting with the design of the space, removing the gap between imagination and reality. In the future, the app will also play a key role in the launch of new product lines.


To launch Ikea Place, Inter Ikea Systems partnered with Space10 and TWNKLS for the User Experience and development of the app. 72andSunny Amsterdam developed the strategy, comms planning, and creative assets for the BETA launch, which includes a series of films, GIFs, social content and blog post.
“​Ikea Place makes it easier to make buying decisions in your own Place, to get inspired and try many different products, styles, and colors in real-life settings with a swipe of your finger. Augmented reality and virtual reality will be a total game changer for retail in the same way as the internet. Only this time, much faster,” says Michael Valdsgaard, Leader Digital Transformation​ ​at​ ​Inter​ ​Ikea​ ​Systems.
“We are really excited to have taken the first step with IKEA in its digital transformation. As AR experts, our development team has very much enjoyed working so closely with the creative and passionate minds at IKEA and Space10. Our goal was to build a user-friendly app that makes the complex technology invisible and gives users a seamless ‘try before you buy’ experience in their own homes. 
Part of the success of IKEA Place lies in the amount of content built into it and the high quality of the 3D furniture featured. Delivering 2,000 pieces of virtual furniture in a 7-week period that would meet IKEA’s quality standards was a real challenge. We look forward to having every living room transformed into an IKEA showroom.” – Gerben Harmsen, Founder TWNKLS
“It’s been fascinating and wonderful to work alongside Ikea as they navigate this next chapter in their digital transformation story. Augmented reality has the potential to quickly change established behaviors and Ikea Place is a leading example of both the simplicity and potential AR can offer. Not only have we been able to partner with a much-loved global brand, we have had the opportunity to help them humanize some cutting-edge technology; that’s the sort of work we relish at our Place”, says Simon Summerscales, Director of Communications Strategy, 72andSunny Amsterdam.
Ikea has always been committed to making affordable, beautiful and functional design available to the many people. Today, the global retail brand is putting technology at the heart of its mission with the launch of Ikea Place, an augmented reality (AR) application that allows people to virtually “Place” Ikea products into their spaces. Ikea Place automatically scales products based on room dimension with 98% accuracy, allowing people to make more confident decisions,​ ​and​ ​making​ ​the​ ​purchase​ ​process​ ​simpler​ ​and​ ​stress-free.
Initially built on Apple’s recently unveiled ARKit technology, Ikea Place was launched during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, one of most anticipated moments of the tech and innovation​ ​industry.​ ​​The​ ​app​ ​will​ ​roll​ ​out​ ​globally​ ​on​ ​iOS11​ ​starting​ ​September​ ​19​ ​in​ ​the​ ​USA.
More than 2,000 Ikea products will be available in the app at launch. The products in the first release will focus on larger furniture products for the living room: all sofas, all armchairs, all footstools, all coffee tables and top-selling storage solutions that can be Placed on the floor. Some of the most recognized Ikea products are available on Ikea Place, including the VIMLE sofa,​ ​the​ ​STRANDMON​ ​winged​ ​chair,​ ​and​ ​the​ ​LISABO​ ​side​ ​table.
The AR technology is so precise that you will be able to see the texture of the fabric, as well as how light and shadows are rendered on your furnishings. In addition to digitally placing Ikea products in a room, the app allows people to capture the setting in the app and share as an image​ ​or​ ​video​ ​with​ ​friends.
Assembly led the media and investment strategy for the launch including development of a toolkit for consistency across markets and a data blueprint for performance evaluation. Allison+Partners was responsible for developing the global public relations strategy, as well as media​ ​relations​ ​implementation​ ​to​ ​support​ ​the​ ​launch​ ​of​ ​Ikea​ ​Place.



Gerben Harmsen speaker at Flanders Make network event

Thursday the 22nd of June, TWNKLS founder Gerben Harmsen will be speaking during the Flanders Make network event in Belgium. Flanders Make is the strategic research centre for the manufacturing industry. During his presentation, Gerben will go through a number of successful real-world cases that show how augmented reality enables Industry 4.0. This network event is exclusive to members of Flanders Make. 

About Flanders Make

Flanders Make does technological research in mechatronics, product development methods and production technologies. Flanders Make collaborates with major companies and SMEs. Together they focus on product and process innovation based on the challenges and needs of the industry. By 2018, more than 300 researchers will work full-time at Flanders Make as a unique research community on a joint industrial research agenda.

AR to enable Industry 4.0.

Augmented reality (AR) is key to the fourth Industrial Revolution, Industry 4.0. By bringing information into context AR enables a new kind of worker that can learn while doing. Augmented reality offers your worker instant expertise. It empowers them to do a new task first time right. TWNKLS is a leading supplier of practical AR solutions that make Industry 4.0 possible. With our own collaborative STAR Platform we serve our client’s needs. Our high-end applications can be found everywhere from oil rigs to assembly lines.

AWE USA 2017 was amazing!

From May 31 till June 2, the 8th Augmented World Expo (AWE) took place in Santa Clara, USA. With 4,700 attendees, 351 speakers, 212 exhibitors and 100,000 sqft. of expo this was the biggest AWE ever! During AWE, TWNKLS showcased successful implementations of augmented reality and we held the international unveiling of our STAR Platform: a unique AR Platform designed to let your company benefit from AR in a flexible, future-proof way. 

Our 3 most important take-aways of AWE 2017

  • Augmented Reality is rapidly maturing! As the market grows companies grow with them. It’s great to see that an industry that only a few years ago catered to small niches is growing into a proven value creator for numerous other industries. Boeing for example is using AR in day-to-day production activities. As TWNKLS thrives we feels this industry momentum coming on strongly as well.
  • So many great new devices are coming up. Demonstrations were held by DAQRI, ODG, and Meta of their latest innovations. More immersive displays and more powerful technology means smart glasses are becoming more and more attractive to use in your business. We are very excited to be working with the latest of these innovations!
  • As technology matures, applications mature as well. From the new tracking technologies of Vuforia, Zumoko, and Fraunhofer to unique experiences such as an AR Easter Egg Hunt by AfterNow – augmented reality is used in a huge range of applications from retail to games, and from oil rigs to your living room.

AWE 2017 hardware

Presentations that amazed us;

TWNKLS presentations

Two of our colleagues gave a presentation during AWE; you can watch their sessions now. Daniel van der Schoor gave a presentation on how AR can transform your business. Dragos Datcu gave a presentation on how augmented reality can enhance security. 

Presentation Dragos

TWNKLS finalist for the Auggie Awards

We were selected as a finalist for Best Enterprise Solution with the WEMO Operator System. We didn’t win, sadly, but are very proud to be the only Dutch company to claim our place among the elite of the AR world. 

Read more about AWE 2017.