The retailer is working with Sonos to "democratize" music in the home. Whether it's turning the heating on via a smartphone app or charging said smartphone by simply flinging it onto a table, home automation has a lot of appeal -- it's convenient, fun to play with and makes it a lot easier to be lazy. The main barriers to take-up, however, have been price and accessibility. Gear can be expensive and sometimes complicated. But furniture retailer IKEA -- arguably the antithesis of cost and complexity -- has slowly been bringing home automation to the masses with its Home Smart range, and is now turning its attention to sound products, in collaboration with Sonos. The retailer, which introduced wireless charging products in 2015 and smart lighting in 2016, says it recognizes the important role played by music in the home, and wants to "democratize" music by making it even easier for people to play any song, anywhere in the home, without interrupting the flow of daily life. Although exactly how this will be done is yet to be seen. Bjorn Block, IKEA Home Smart business leader says they want to "combine IKEA home furnishing knowledge with Sonos' expertise" so the outcome could be standalone items, or technology integrated into existing furniture . We'll find out in 2019, when the range hits stores.
Sonos and Ikea just announced a new collaboration to create future home sound experiences. The companies say they want to make it easier to play music anywhere in the home – which makes sense, since Sonos main benefit is how easy their software makes it to set up and manage a system of speakers throughout your home. Together with Sonos we want to democratize music and sound in the home, and we want to create products designed for how people listen together at home. By teaming up with Sonos we want to combine IKEA home furnishing knowledge with Sonos expertise within great home sound. explained Björn Block, Business Leader, IKEA Home Smart at IKEA of Sweden. In typical corporate fashion theres no concrete details about what specific types of products the two will collaborate on. And since the products wont launch until 2019, it may be a while before we know what exactly will result from the collaboration. But if the duo can figure out how to build good-quality speakers into Ikea furniture that can be controlled by Sonos software, count me in. The collaboration is a little unexpected, since Sonos is considered a premium brand and Ikea is budget home furnishing Plus Sonos is very limited in their product line – they sell exactly 9 products, meaning even a small collaboration with Ikea could potentially double the amount of products they make. Ikea sees this endeavor as the third step for their Home Smart division. They launched wireless charging in some of their furniture in 2015, smart lighting products in 2016 and now have decided to tackle music.