To most consumers, it is the Swedish flatpack furniture giant with a penchant for bizarre product names but now Ikea is aiming to change perceptions and become a leading light in the Internet of Things with the launch of a dedicated division, Ikea Home Smart.
The retailer first hatched the connected devices strategy in 2012 with plans to integrate new, smart technologies into Ikea products, such as wireless charging and smart lighting, as well as smart speakers made in collaboration with US consumer electronics company Sonos.
However, it ramped up this approach earlier this summer by renaming its smart eco-system control app TRÅDFRI to Ikea Home Smart app. It insisted that the name change was not simply cosmetic but signalled a major shift in direction for the business.
The firm now wants to make it possible for customers to control all of their smart devices from the same app and claims that Ikea Home Smart is the biggest launch since the introduction of its children and baby range of products back in 1997.
Ikea Home Smart head Björn Block commented: “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.
“By working together with all other departments within Ikea, the business unit of Ikea Home Smart will 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. We are just getting started.”