IKEA has been dabbling in smart home tech in recent years, but a new announcement from the company reveals it’s about to dive even deeper into the sector.
The Swedish furniture giant said it’s creating a dedicated business unit geared toward smart home tech, which, according to the company, marks its biggest commitment to a single product line since it introduced Children’s IKEA more than 20 years ago.
“At IKEA we want to continue to offer products for a better life at home,” Björn Block, head of the company’s new smart home unit, said in a release, adding, “In order to do so we need to explore products and solutions beyond conventional home furnishing.”
IKEA’s interest in the smart home sector first caught our attention in 2015 with the launch of furniture that incorporated wireless charging technology for Qi-compatible smartphones.
The company then expanded its range to Tadfri smart lights, while this month saw the launch of its Sonos-compatible Symfonisk wireless speakers. In addition, smart blinds that you can control with a quick tap on your smartphone, or via voice, are set for release in the fall.
New revenue channel
With its established global presence both with brick-and-mortar stores and online, as well as a strong furniture-based brand that features attractively priced goods, IKEA certainly appears well placed to take on competitors in the smart home space as it seeks to build new revenue channels.
Research published in June 2019 forecast that the smart home market will grow from $76.6 billion in 2018 to a whopping $151.4 billion by 2024, with smart products for every room in the home expected to attract a growing number of buyers, even despite privacy concerns among some customers.
Björn Block said that the plan is to work with all other departments at IKEA to incorporate technologies into more of its products in a bid to “drive the digital transformation of the IKEA range, improving and transforming existing businesses, and developing new businesses to bring more diverse smart products to many people.”
Hinting at the scale of IKEA’s plans for the smart home sector, the executive added, “We are just getting started.”