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Facebook snaps up visual search tech behind Ikea’s AR app

What will the social media giant do with GrokStyle?

Screenshot of Ikea app showing chairs
Grokstyle-powered visual search in Ikea’s Place app.

Last year, Ikea updated its augmented reality app, Place, to include a handy new feature that allowed people to snaps photos of furniture then use those pics to search for similar Ikea products.

Now that technology will be reaching even more people. Bloomberg reports that Facebook is bolstering its artificial intelligence capabilities by snatching up GrokStyle, the company that made Ikea’s nifty visual search function possible.

According to a post on its website, GrokStyle will be winding down its operations as its team moves over to Facebook. What use does the social media behemoth have for a computer vision app? Beyond strengthening its AI team, some speculate it could become helpful technology for customers buying and selling items on Facebook Marketplace, a popular way to offload used goods in local communities. It could certainly also be a boon for advertising.

There’s no word on if anything will change with Place, but rest assured all of us will be seeing a lot more AI-powered shopping experiences popping up in the near future.

Via: Bloomberg