IKEA doubles down on its smart home ambitions

IKEA doubles down on its smart home ambitions
Ryan is a senior editor at TechForge Media with over a decade of experience covering the latest technology and interviewing leading industry figures. He can often be sighted at tech conferences with a strong coffee in one hand and a laptop in the other. If it's geeky, he’s probably into it. Find him on Twitter: @Gadget_Ry

IKEA is planning to make an even bigger bet on the smart home with a new dedicated business unit and increased investment.

“At IKEA we want to continue to offer products for a better life at home for the many people going forward. In order to do so we need to explore products and solutions beyond conventional home furnishing,” says Björn Block, Head of the new IKEA Home smart Business Unit at IKEA of Sweden. 

After launching smart home lighting in 2017, IKEA has been quickly expanding its offerings. This month, the world’s largest furniture retailer partnered with Sonos to launch whole-home audio solutions (for much cheaper than Sonos’ premium-priced devices).

IKEA is now launching a new ‘IKEA Home Smart’ business unit to help develop new devices to push to the 780 million shoppers who visit the retailer each year.

“We have decided to invest significantly in Home Smart across IKEA to fast-forward the development. This is the biggest New Business we are establishing since the introduction of Children’s IKEA,” says Peter van der Poel, Manager IKEA Range & Supply.

In October, IKEA plans to launch the company’s first smart blinds in the US. We look forward to seeing where IKEA expands to next, but the retail giant’s smart home ambitions should put the current incumbents like Google and Amazon on notice.

IDC predicts global sales of about 830 million smart home devices in 2019 before doubling to 1.6 billion in 2023. That’s a huge potential source of revenue for IKEA if it can be successful in cutting a slice of the pie.

IKEA’s new business unit will be overseen by Björn Block.

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