Ikea, the Swedish furniture manufacturer, has invested money into developing a proprietary smart home system of their own. The company is likely to be competing directly with the likes of Amazon and Google, which dominate the smart home space. Dubbed “Ikea Home Smart,” the system intends to expand upon Ikea connected devices. The home furnishings manufacturer made their ambitions in the smart home space known in 2015 with their production of tables and lamps that could be used to charge Qi-compatible phones. Smart lighting was added to their lineup in 2017, and in 2019 they built a partnership with Sonos to market and distribute the company’s whole-home audio system. These advances demonstrate that Ikea sees the smart home space as a place they would like to have a presence in.
At current, Ikea’s smart home system hasn’t bought into either Amazon or Google’s platform. This platform agnosticism means that consumers can still purchase Ikea products with connected devices from either of the larger smart-home providers and have them work reliably. With sales of smart home devices expected to surge to 1.6 billion by 2023, Ikea is keen to start competing against the established giants and carve out their own niche.
Ikea’s claim to fame within the furniture production space has never been threatened. The business has a stable market when it comes to the production of artsy, inexpensive home furnishings. It is from this base from which the company intends to launch its new smart home systems. Unlike Amazon and Google, where the devices are external to the furniture, Ikea’s innovation seems to be including the technology together with the furniture they sell, making for an attractive, technologically advanced fixture.
Just Getting Started
In a press release, the director of Ikea Home Smart Björn Block mentioned that the aim for the business unit was to help fuel the change of other systems into a fully connected smart home infrastructure. He went on to state that the group was tasked with improving and transforming businesses that already exist as well as developing more diverse smart products that appeal to a wide range of customers. Block stated significantly, “We are just getting started.”