IKEA prepares for smart blind launch
IKEA is apparently gearing up to launch itself into the smart blind market, as it continues to rollout low-cost connected products for the home.
First, we had the release of ‘smart’ lights from IKEA… then, news of a ‘smart’ speaker (& one with Sonos too) and now, ‘smart’ blinds. The ‘smart’ may be a stretch depending on your standards, but the Swedish manufacturer’s continued focus on home tech suggests it has been enjoying success to date.
If the rumours are true, pricing for IKEA’s own line smart blinds could start as low as €99.95 ($112) – thought to be the price of its ‘Kadrilj’ roller blind model, accompanied by a blackout option named ‘Fyrtur’ and priced at €139 ($157), according to information spotted on the retailer’s website.
Both blind products seem to be operated by the press of a button positioned on a window pane (which naturally causes blinds to raise or lower, powered by internal electric motors) and will be powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Homeowners will reportedly be able to control them via a dedicated app.
The first sneak peak of what IKEA were up to was spotted back in September when a filing for a control unit passed through the FCC (suggesting a US launch could be on the cards very soon). The products are expected to join IKEA’s TRÅDFRI series (currently consisting of smart lights and motion sensors for the home).
It’s yet unknown whether support for Apple HomeKit and major voice control platforms will be incorporated as with other IKEA products, or if support for the former will come at an extra cost (as with other manufacturers). Information regarding the release date is still a little shady too (excuse the terrible pun) beyond a ‘2019’ release, although some news sources suggest a target launch month of February ahead of a wider rollout.
If the above pricing proves to be accurate, IKEA would be seriously undercutting the pro market (coming in at roughly half the cost of some of the most highly regarded brands in the space), but the question remains: would you trust IKEA to manage your blinds? Answers on the back of the instructions to that flat-pack furniture you struggled with please.