IKEA makes massive smart tech push

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IKEA makes massive smart tech push

If you thought smart devices could be a nice new market to explore, think again: semi-disposable furniture giant IKEA has signalled a massive push into the field, a sure sign it’s already a commodity market.

IKEA already offers the TRÅDFRI range of smart lighting products in Australia under the “Home Smart” umbrella brand. The company also has an app to drive its kit.

Now the IKEA Sweden mothership has announced that it will “invest even more in the home smart area by establishing IKEA Home smart as its own business unit within IKEA of Sweden.”

“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. 

“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.

“We are just getting started,” Block added.

IKEA won’t have things all its own way, as Bunnings and JB Hi-Fi have both signalled they want in on the smart devices market. So does Google, which recently brought all of its smart home kit under the “Nest” brand. Amazon.com also has a play, and even ALDI had a crack with a recent “Special Buy” of smart light bulbs.

That last offer may be the most significant: if this category is well-enough understood to be offered by big discounters on top of other mass-market retailers, the chance of adding value through services is receding fast.

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