Ikea is making its biggest investment in 20 years to take on Amazon and Google in a bid to have a “leading role in the smart home arena”.
Inter Ikea’s chief executive Torbjorn Loof told the Financial Times that the Swedish furniture giant wants to “simplify” smart home technology and “make it affordable”.
Aside from making its biggest investment in the sector since 1997, when it launched its now wildly successful children’s range, Ikea is understood to be hiring a raft of software engineers at its Home Smart headquarters.
Furthermore, according to Ikea Home Smart’s boss Bjorn Block the retailer is planning to greatly increase the number of smart devices to its catalogue, which already includes smart bulbs, speakers and blinds.
Block added that tech companies like Amazon and Google weren’t viewed as competitors, but as potential collaborators.
“It shouldn’t only be Ikea,” he said.
“We love the mix and match approach. It makes it personal, and good. Quite a few players are needed in the smart home area, niche players too.”
Earlier this year Ikea launched a smart “bookshelf” speaker in collaboration with Sonos, which embodied the brand’s goal of offering well designed but affordable smart technology to its customers.