Q&A: Mathias Karlsson, director of home smart at IKEA Canada
Q: Where is IKEA at with its Home Smart journey?
The IKEA home smart journey began with the launch of wireless charging products for mobile phones in 2015. Next was smart lighting, which launched in 2016. The exploration of sound is the third step and the latest innovation is the highly anticipated launch of the FYRTUR smart blinds in 2020.
We believe that home smart enables design which connects all four senses, what we feel, see, hear and touch to make us more connected to our space. Altogether, incorporating home smart products in your space is simply about living more efficiently and being more connected with our spaces today, tomorrow and every day.
Product highlights in the IKEA smart home range include:
- The TRÅDFRI smart lighting gateway kit which is a great entry point item for customers looking to embrace a smart home solution in an affordable way. The kit comes complete with a remote, bulbs, a gateway set-up and is all controllable through the IKEA Home Smart app. From a design standpoint, it’s a really great way to customize lighting and the overall atmosphere in your space. For example, you can keep all the lights on a time setting whether you’re looking for warmer temperatures to relax in the evenings or a cooler setting in the daytime.
- The RIGGAD LED work lamp is also favourite of the Home Smart product line as it’s a lamp that works double duty as a wireless charger. It’s also a winner of the prestigious international iF Design Award, acknowledged for its design with birch details, wireless charging technology and on-off switch on the top of the shade.
- Last year we introduced an exciting collaboration with the sound experts at SONOS called SYMFONISK which includes a bookshelf speaker and a speaker lamp. Through this launch, we want to combine high-quality sound with beautiful design available for the many people at an affordable price. By teaming up with Sonos, IKEA combines its home furnishing knowledge with Sonos’ expertise in creating great sound experiences for every room of the home.
Q: What innovations are planned in the coming year?
Helping customers live a more integrated and efficient life at home continues to be an ongoing focus area for IKEA. We are excited about the possibilities that smart home can bring and are exploring many options throughout the home.
Most recently in Canada, we launched the FYRTUR blackout roller blinds. What makes this collection unique is the easy access to control each blind wirelessly through the IKEA Home Smart app and most importantly, it’s one the most affordable price points for smart blinds on the market.
Finally, we’ve recently added to TRÅDFRI wireless motion sensor earlier this year. Like all smart home products, this is integrated in the IKEA Home Smart app. Through the app you can control the motion sensor lighting temperature to be 30-100% of its brightness level.
Q: How can customers take advantage of these new gadgets and applications without making life difficult?
When designing a home smart product our purpose is to inspire customers on the benefits of technology while leading with the idea of simple, beautiful design and all which is available at an affordable price. IKEA Home Smart systems are very user friendly and are small changes consumers can make to have a more integrated home. The whole system is controlled through the IKEA Home Smart app which keeps the user experience simple as everything has one designated area of control.
Q: How does IKEA integrate the Home Smart products into its collections?
Through the IKEA home smart journey, we’ve launched the IKEA Home smart app which is the program used to control the system through your smart phone or other handheld devices. Through the app, you can also synchronize with Amazon Alexa, Google Home and the Apple Home Kit. The main features of the app allow you to control lights and blinds, turn music on and off, pause, control volume levels and adjust lighting temperatures in the room to customize the experience for any mood, at any time.
Finally, what makes IKEA home smart products unique is how they seamlessly blend and integrate into your home when it comes to their design. The SYMFONISK bookshelf speaker is great example, showing how a speaker can be used in many ways including being mounted on the wall as bedside table, integrated into the kitchen on the KUNGFORS kitchen rail or the perfect fit for the iconic KALLAX shelving unit. Our hope is to create integrated technology into our home furnishing items enabling smart home solutions to blend into the home in a seamless and beautiful way.