IKEA 'invests heavily' in smart home tech
Written by Peter Walker
IKEA has taken the strategic decision to invest in smart home technology by establishing IKEA Home smart as a new business unit.
Home smart was initiated as a project in 2012 with the ambition to incorporate digital elements and technologies into home products and solutions. Several launches have followed since then and now the Swedish flat-pack furniture giant is developing it into a fully end-to-end business unit.
“We have decided to invest significantly in Home Smart across IKEA to fast-forward the development,” said Peter van der Poel, manager for IKEA Range & Supply. “This is the biggest new business we are establishing since the introduction of Children’s IKEA.”
Launches within the product areas of wireless charging, smart lighting and a new smart speaker system with SONOS are all examples of the IKEA’s smart home products. It has also created an ecosystem and app for smart lighting.
IKEA stated that it has established relationships with other digital companies to utilise new opportunities and scale-up the business unit.
“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 the many people,” concluded Björn Block, head of the new IKEA Home smart business unit.
Late last year, IKEA revealed that pre-tax profits had dropped by €1 billion during 2018, as it pours investment into e-commerce and digital transformation plans.
Part of this was demonstrated in May, with the launch of a virtual reality feature that will enable customers to visualise how products would look in their own homes before purchasing them in-app.